The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN–Habitat) and IOM have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deepen their cooperation in jointly enhancing human settlements and migration policies. The MoU was signed by the IOM Director, General William Lacy Swing, and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos. It seeks to deepen mutual cooperation between the two agencies on developing and enhancing policy, operational coherence and planning on issues relating to migration and human settlements at the national and international levels.
The agreement allows the two organizations to develop joint research and further exchange information on the links between rural-urban migration and IOM’s expertise in migration management. “The signing of this important MoU with UN-Habitat is an indication that we recognize the challenges associated with human mobility and its effects on human settlement across the world. I believe in a strong, practical and proactive partnership that is able to respond to challenges more positively and in a timely manner,” said IOM Director General Lacy Swing. “Many of the world’s migrants find themselves in cities and towns looking for new opportunities.
A strategic vision and effective urban planning at both local and national levels will enable cities and countries to be better prepared for the population growth and the provision of urban basic services,” said UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos. “We are pleased to work with IOM in this field to provide a cohesive approach to the challenges of mobility with respect to human settlements. Cities are a human creation, a scenario of diversity and people's crossroads.”
The cooperation agreement further seeks to build the capacity of governments and other relevant stakeholders to respond effectively to the challenges and opportunities presented by the link between migration and human settlements. This includes the expansion of slums and other informal settlements as a result of migrants moving into cities, the vulnerability and lack of representation of such migrants, and the social and cultural diversity brought into cities by migrants.
Areas of future cooperation will include joint programmes in areas of common interest, including promoting the positive contribution of migration to sustainable development, supporting the adaptation of human settlements and encouraging social and economic development through migration. For more information