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Statement at the 106th Session

Statement by Norway in the general debate of the 106th Session of the IOM Council. 24-27 November 2015.

Chair,

The magnitude and complexity of today's migration flows call for comprehensive strategies.

We need to address the root causes of today's crises and to meet the immediate challenges in Europe as well as in other parts of the world.

Long term measures must go hand in hand with short term responses.

Like many other countries in Europe and beyond, Norway is currently facing increasing numbers of asylum seekers.

In this time of unprecedented population movements, we want to express our recognition of IOM as a valuable partner and a most competent organisation.

We appreciate the strong partnership we have with IOM in several areas, and we wish to strengthen this further through a whole of government approach.

In particular, we appreciate IOM's work with assisted voluntary returns, combatting human trafficking, humanitarian assistance, and in providing refugees with information and culture orientation about our society.

Principled and effective humanitarian response is crucial. We believe the finalization of the policy document Principles for Humanitarian Action is an important contribution to this end.

The fact that migration and migrants have been included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development should inspire us to look into mainstreaming migration in development cooperation. It is important to explore the benefits of migration and human mobility. This is acomplex issue, but migration may also be an opportunity for development and growth.

The relations between migration and environmental degradation and climate change is another area that deserves increased attention. Norway welcomes IOM's commitment to address these issues that will necessarily become more important in the coming years.

We also welcome the calls for greater attention to migration and health challenges.

As IOM's budget and activities increase, Norway would like to underline the importance of audit, evaluation, risk management and investigation functions. We recognise the work that has been done already in this field through the budget-strenghtening plan, and welcome further efforts to ensure transparency and efficiency.

On the question of IOM-UN relations, Norway's main concern is that IOM continues to be fully operational in the field. We support the resolution that gives the Director General a mandate to negotiate with the UN and look forward to be informed on a continuous basis as the discussions proceed.

Thank you.