Portugal’s António Vitorino elected head of UN Migration Agency

in News · 05-07-2018 14:18:00 · 0 Comments
Portugal’s António Vitorino elected head of UN Migration Agency

Member states of IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, have elected Portugal’s António Vitorino as the International Organisation for Migration’s next Director General.

A former Portuguese cabinet minister, António Vitorino, succeeds the United States’ William Lacy Swing.
Vitorino’s directorship begins on 1 October 2018.
The Portuguese candidate won the first three rounds of voting, having gone on to the fourth with Costa Rican candidate Laura Thompson.
Vitorino will be only the second non-US director-general of the IOM since it was founded in 1951. US President Donald Trump had nominated Isaacs, of Christian charity Samaritan purse for the role, but his hard-line stance on immigration and controversial tweets about Muslims are thought to have led to his being beaten in the third round of voting.

The candidate selected by Washington was the least voted of the three candidates, with 22 votes, which was why he could not go into the fourth round.
The latest IOM director general is a former European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs (1999-2004) and former Minister of the Presidency and National Defence (1995-1997). He has also enjoyed a distinguished career in Portugal as a lawyer as well as in electoral politics.
Mr. Vitorino was elected to Portugal’s Parliament in 1980. In 1983 he became Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs. He later served as Deputy Secretary for the Governor of Macau until 1989, when he returned to Lisbon to become a judge of the Constitutional Court, a term that ended in 1994. He subsequently served as Minister for National Defence and Deputy Prime Minister within the government of António Guterres, now the United Nations’ Secretary General.
From 1999 to 2004 António Vitorino served as the European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs. During his tenure, Mr. Vitorino participated in conversations that led to the drawing of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Convention on the Future of Europe.
Since exiting politics in 2005, Vitorino has been President of the think tank Notre Europe since June 2011 and for many years enjoyed an ongoing role as commentator for Portuguese television channel RTP 1.
Established in 1951, the International Organisation for Migration has over 10,000 staff and over 400 offices in more than 150 countries. IOM is the UN Migration Agency and is the leading inter-governmental organisation in the field of migration. It is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.
Along with 169 Member States, the IOM has eight countries that have observer status.


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