The legal relationship between the UN and the International Organization for Migration: What has changed after their 2016 Cooperation Agreement?
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Book chapter › Research › peer-review
On the 19th of September 2016, during the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, the IOM Director General and the UN Secretary General formalized a new agreement between their two institutions. The Agreement was publicly heralded as transforming the IOM into a ‘UN-related’ organization, and was followed by the IOM’s rebranding to ‘IOM-UN Migration’, thus fostering the impression that the IOM had, for the first time, become part of the UN. Yet, as a matter of law the relationship had not significantly changed. In fact, compared with the earlier relationship agreement concluded in 1996, the 2016 iteration formally diminished aspects of cooperation and lines of accountability between the two organizations. In addition, key features of the IOM including its independence and ‘non-normative’ status were for the first time expressly recognised in an agreement between the two entities. This Chapter unpacks what is meant by a ‘UN-related organization’, explains how they differ from UN specialized agencies, and why the latter status was avoided. It assesses the differences between the IOM’s initial relationship agreement with the UN in 1996 and that concluded in 2016. The Chapter elaborates why the disconnect between the legal effect of the 2016 Agreement and the public impression of it are important, and makes suggestions for possible reform.
|Title of host publication||IOM Unbound? Obligations and Accountability for the International Organization for Migration in an Era of Expansion|
|Editors||Megan Bradley, Cathryn Costello, Angela Sherwood|
|Publisher||cambridge university press (cup)|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2023|