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LONDON – President Donald Trump's candidate for leadership of the UN Immigration Department was rejected by delegates on Friday – only the second time since the organization's inception Year 1
The decision to reject Isaac's comes at a crucial time for migration issues worldwide and at a time when the Trump administration was increasingly critical of international institutions. The US has left the UN Human Rights Council this month and Trump has criticized the World Trade Organization for being "unfair" to the US
According to the IOM mission, the 169-member Geneva agency promotes "Proper and humane management of migration" and " international cooperation in migration issues ", encourages practical solutions to migration problems and provides humanitarian assistance.
The director-general is traditionally occupied by an American, delegates accept the United States elected states candidate. The last time a non-American ran the organization was in the 1960s.
Since the IOM joined the United Nations in 2016, there has been speculation that the change in status would cause governments to question that assumption. Keith Michael Harper, the Obama administration's ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, tweeted that Friday's election was a sign that US officials were "dramatically shrinking" on the world stage.
Isaac's candidacy was nullified by reports of his comments on Islam, including an article in the Washington Post February He said he rewrote a CNN story of a terrorist attack in London in June 2017 and made an anti-Muslim comment.
In the story, a Catholic bishop was quoted as saying, "This is not in the name of God. That's not what the Muslim faith demands of men."
According to the post, Isaacs then commented, "CNN, bishop "If you read the Qur'an, you will know that this is exactly what the Muslim faith teaches us to do faithfully."
Then in March, CNN reported that Isaac's private Twitter account had retweeted contributions from anti-Muslim figures Creeping Sharia laws in the United States claimed that Islam was trying to destroy the country from within.  Mark Hetfield, a friend of Isaacs, who runs the HIAS humanitarian group, is working with the IOM and is more responsible for Trump's policies and rhetoric than for Isaacs.
"This IOM election was not really about Ken Isaac, for whom I have much respect as a humanist," said Hetfield.
"The election was an international referendum that rejected President Trump and his xenophobic, Islamophobic and isolationist policies," he said. "Let's face it, the tweets from Isaacs were no worse than those that came from the White House."
Isaacs did not respond to a request for comment.
Vitorino succeeds William Lacy Swing – a former US Ambassador served as IOM Director-General for 10 years – on October 1, the organization said in a statement.