The United Nations has elected Portuguese Socialist Antonio Vitorino as the new leader of the International Organization for Migration, its migration agency, rejecting the Trump administration’s proposed candidate Ken Isaacs, who works at the Rev. Franklin Graham-led Samaritan’s Purse.
Vitorino, a former EU commissioner for Home and Justice Affairs and who heads the “Notre Europe” think tank, is the next director-general of the U.N. body, which serves migrants by providing them with humanitarian aid, helping track deaths and at times resettling them.
In the secret ballot, Laura Thompson of Costa Rica, the deputy director of the IOM, came in second.
Vitorino, who succeeds the United States’ William Lacy Swing after his two five-year terms, will take charge Oct. 1, according to a statement released by IOM Friday.
Vitorino was elected to Portugal’s Parliament in 1980 and later held several public offices, including Minister for National Defence and Deputy Prime Minister within the government of António Guterres, who is now the U.N. Secretary General.
It’s the second time that the U.N. migration body will be run by a non-American since 1951.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tried to garner support for Isaacs, vice president of programs and government relations at Samaritan’s Purse and who has previously served as director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance within the U.S. Agency for International Development.
In May, a statement by the White House press secretary said the Trump administration “strongly supports the candidacy of Ken Isaacs,” as he “understands the ways of Washington and who can advocate most effectively for the IOM [and] continues to lead it as it seeks to fulfill its mission.”
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Source: Christian Post