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Opening remarks by Chairperson H.E. Mme Sarala Fernando at the hundred and Third Session of the Executive Committee of IOM, 7th June, 2006
I would like to thank you for my election to Chair this session of the Executive Committee. I take it as an honour to my country which has recently joined the Executive Committee for the first time. I also congratulate the Vice President Mr. Osvald Alvarez of Chile on his election.
Mr. Director-General you have given inspiring leadership to IOM which continues to grow in its activities and programmes; more member states are joining IOM as a sign of its relevance particularly to developing countries. Our meetings today and tomorrow will consider a full agenda, with a view to promoting sustained growth for IOM and shoring up any perceived weaknesses. I am confident that we can all work together in a businesslike manner to bring this 103rd session of the Executive Committee session to a successful conclusion.
103rd session of the IOM Executive Committee 7-8 June 2006 Statement by the delegation of Sri Lanka
(Mr. S. Pathirana, Second Secretary)
Allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chair of this Executive Committee.
It is a particular pleasure for Sri Lanka to attend this Executive Committee as a member for the first time having been elected to the Executive Committee last December.
We listened carefully to the statement of the Director-General and thank him for providing an update on the activities of the Organisation for 2005.
During the year IOM welcomed 7 new members underlining the relevance of the organization and the increasing demand for its advice and services for member states.
IOM should be complimented for another good year of performance with over 400 new projects started in 2005. The increase of operational expenditure by over 52% has been achieved while administrative costs have been contained. We note that a number of internal audit, evaluation and rapid assessment of projects have been carried out for oversight purposes. However, we would welcome some indication of whether the outcomes were found to be satisfactory and in compliance with UN standards.
Sri Lanka appreciates IOM’s comprehensive tsunami response which included diverse activities and implemented with the generous support of a number of national and international partner. Notably IOM completed the construction of over 4000 units of transitional housing in 7 tsunami affected districts, conducted livelihood development programmes which directly assisted over 2500 beneficiaries in these areas and undertook comprehensive community health programmes including nutrition surveys and feeding for malnourished mothers and children, immunization and eye care. We take this opportunity to thank the many donors who have contributed unstintingly to IOM’s tsunami assistance programmes in Sri Lanka.
The third Ministerial Consultations on Overseas employment and Contractual Labour for countries of origin in Asia, in Bali in last September was a successful event with the participation of countries of destination for the first time. It is of particular satisfaction to see the continuation of these consultations which began in Colombo three years ago.
Since labour migration is a theme high on the UN agenda this year, we were rather surprised to note a significant reduction in IOM’s expenditure on labour migration activities in 2005. From our perspective, Madam Chairperson, we would urge IOM to increase its cooperation in areas such as human trafficking and irregular migration which are of continuing concern for many countries.