Sierra Leone’s Ambassador Gberie Handsover Chairman IOM Bureau
Geneva, Switzerland, Monday 27 November 2023 - The IOM’s Council meeting at its 114th Session, Ambassador to Switzerland and Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations, Dr Lansana Gberie, has successfully handed over the Chairmanship of IOM Governing Bureau to, Her Excellency Katharina Stasch, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Germany, after ably steering the work of the Council for a period of one year.
Ambassador Gberie on 29 November 2022 was unanimously elected as the New Chairperson of its governing bureau at the opening session of the council.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) meets in regular session once a year and in special sessions at the request of one-third of its members, the Director General, or the Chairman of the Council in urgent circumstances.
At the beginning of each regular session, the Council elects, from among the representatives of member States, a Chairperson, a First Vice-Chairperson, a Second Vice-Chairperson, and a Rapporteur. The officers are elected for a one-year term and are eligible for re-election.
Sierra Leone among dozens of Member States recognized in the global community with a golden star under Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio’s agenda, emphasizes the need for constructive engagement in intergovernmental negotiations on the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration was applauded for his leadership and vast experience exhibited during his tenure.
In recent times, Ambassador Gberie has been elected President of the Arm Trade Treaty, which ended with major achievements, Chairman of the World Trade Organisation's TRIPS Council, First Vice Chairman of IOM’s governing bureau at its 112th Session in Geneva, and Chairperson of its governing bureau.
In his handing over statement, Ambassador Gberie thanked President Julius Maada Bio for the opportunity to serve his country diligently and thanked members of the Bureau on his election to lead the 113th Session of the IOM Council, and congratulated the incoming Chairperson, Her Excellency Katharina Stasch, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Germany to lead the 114th Session of the IOM Council.
Ambassador Gberie highlighted his achievements as Chair of the IOM Governing Bureau. ‘’As Chair, I visited two African countries where IOM has a significant presence – this is a very good practice at the IOM that must be maintained. My first stop was Morocco - Rabat and Casablanca - where, for two days, I met with migrants, staff of IOM, senior government officials, diplomats and civil society organizations working with migrants. This mission facilitated discussions with government representatives on cooperation with IOM and challenges related to migration, particularly regarding regular pathways and migrant rights-related issues. I had wide-ranging conversations with IOM staff in both countries, in town halls organised by local IOM leaders. Passion for the work of the organisation was very strong. Passion combined with strong technical knowledge and an eagerness to engage with migrant communities and local authorities at all levels - which I found stronger in Kenya - makes for greater effectiveness’’, he noted.
The Director-General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Emy Pope, thanked Ambassador Lansana Gberie, for his steady leadership, commitment, and a productive chairmanship to IOM’s drive in helping thousands of migrants and displaced people by supporting Bureau to create the conditions for safe, orderly, and regular migration for the past year, and during her nomination as Director General.
Ambassador Gberie brings to the organization a wealth experience in the field of Journalism, diplomacy, Peace, Security among others.
In Sierra Leone, the National UN Network on Migration was launched on 1 June 2021, and the government under President Julius Maada Bio has been working with the network to integrate migration into the Common Country Analysis (CCA) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), in alignment with and as part of the implementation of these two frameworks.
Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio’s agenda, emphasizes the need for constructive engagement in intergovernmental negotiations on the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly, and regular migration. Effective implementation and follow-up of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) continues to remain crucial in making migration work for all. His government believes that migration and development should be addressed comprehensively.
The 114th Session of Council will be held from 27 to 29 November 2023 in a hybrid format in-person.
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