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Holy See joins International Organization for Migration

December 06, 2011

The Holy See has become a full member of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an intergovernmental organization founded in 1951. The IOM has 132 member states and 97 states and organizations with observer status. Pope Benedict noted the sixtieth anniversary of the organization following his December 4 Angelus address and entrusted to the Lord those forced to leave their countries.

“We are currently witnessing a huge increase in migration, in the number of people leaving their country of origin for various reasons,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, a leading Holy See diplomat. “It is important to be present and participate in the efforts of the international community to make our specific contribution. IOM leaders see the Holy See as a voice capable of giving an ethical dimension to the phenomenon and how it is approached.”

“We have, for example, many people who die in the attempt to escape from their country, from Mexico to the United States, from North Africa to Europe, from Africa across the Red Sea to Yemen,” he added. “It is important, therefore, that the Holy See has decided to join this organization in order to emphasize its involvement in this phenomenon of great global importance and one which, despite the economic crisis, is expected to continue to grow.”


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