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The Latest: United Nations Immigration Agency Selects a New Portuguese Leader



GENEVA – The Latest on the Refusal of the UN Immigration Department (All Local Hours):

16:00

The United Nations Immigration Service has appointed the Portuguese socialist Antonio Vitorino as their new leader elected after rejecting the proposed Trump candidate.

In a statement issued on Friday, the International Organization for Migration, Top IOM official and US candidate Ken Isaacs

Vitorino, 61

, will not become the second IOM Director-General until 1951, when the intergovernmental organization was established from the USA. He was voted ahead of Isaacs, who retired early on voting rounds and after acclimatization on second place, Laura Thompson from Costa Rica – currently deputy general director of IOM.

Vitorino is a former EU Commissioner for Home Affairs and Justice, the President of Notre Europe "Think Tank for the past seven years.

IOM employs over 10,000 people in offices in more than 150 countries. His work was crucial in providing humanitarian aid to migrants and tracking deaths of migrants in often deadly Mediterranean waters between North Africa. It also helps with the resettlement of immigrants who are accepted by foreign countries – and sometimes brings them home.

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13:55

The United Nations Immigration Department has rejected the proposed candidate of the Trump government, a post held since 1951 mainly by Americans.

Diplomats attending three rounds of voting on Friday told the Associated Press that the American Ken Isaacs has been eliminated in the ongoing contest, now headed by Antonio Vitorino, a Portuguese socialist, and the remaining candidate, Deputy Director-General of IOM, Laura Thompson from Costa Rica.

The Senegalese diplomat Youssoupha Ndiaye said leaving the poll in Geneva, "The American is out."

Isaac's candidacy was clouded by US policies such as travel bans and family divisions – and his own comments that critics have labeled as anti-Muslim.

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10:00

The UN Migration Council elects its next Director-General, a long-held American position. But the ambitions of the Trump's favorite candidate could be tarnished by US policies such as travel bans and family separations.

Paying, voting members among the 172 in the International Organization for Migration are among the Americans Ken Isaacs, an executive of the Christian-humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse; IOM Deputy Director-General Laura Thompson from Costa Rica; and Antonio Vitorino, a Portuguese socialist.

The winner succeeds longtime US diplomat William Lacy Swing, who disembarks in September.

An intergovernmental body that became a UN associate agency in 2016 had only one director general, who was not American since its founding in 1951.

Apart from concerns about the Trump policy, critics say Isaacs has written anti-Muslim posts on social media.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.


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