Leak Suggests US Pressures UN Agency To Censor Docs On Climate Change, Migration - Reports

Leak Suggests US Pressures UN Agency to Censor Docs on Climate Change, Migration - Reports

A leaked internal communication suggests that the United States might be pressuring the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to which it contributes about a quarter of the total budgetary funds, to censor documents on climate change and migration in a way to fit the US government's "political sensitivities," media reported on Wednesday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 11th September, 2019) A leaked internal communication suggests that the United States might be pressuring the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to which it contributes about a quarter of the total budgetary funds, to censor documents on climate change and migration in a way to fit the US government's "political sensitivities," media reported on Wednesday.

In an email to colleagues, a US-based IOM official wrote that the agency documents related to program activities, funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the US State Department, "must not be in conflict with current [US government] political sensitivities," and contain "anything that seems at odds with the administration's take on US domestic/foreign issues," as quoted by The Guardian.

According to the newspaper, the email requested that IOM employees produce relevant documents � especially those that are to be published online � early enough for them to be reviewed "by the donor" beforehand and introduce "any necessary adjustments in coordination with PRM".

The email further warns that "PRM is very willing to cut funding in areas that it deems are not in line with US foreign policy objectives.

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The Guardian's estimates suggested that an approximate $500 million of IOM's budget comes from the United States, of which $18 million is provided by the PRM. Citing an unnamed former IOM employee, the newspaper says that the UN Migration Agency often gives in to this kind of pressure in order to protect its funding.

"I've seen a response [to the email] from at least one regional official who explicitly asked staff not to directly refer to climate change or the global compact on migration in a range of reports or proposals that would be sent to the US government," the source said.

Funding fears at IOM flared up last July when the 171 member states elected the first non-US candidate since the 1960s to lead the agency. Washington's pick, Ken Isaacs, was rejected in favor of Portugal's Antonio Vitorino after the media publicized several of his controversial internet posts on islam and climate change. Experts believe that the rejection could have been brought about not so much by Isaac's publications as by the policies of US President Donald Trump and his administration on migration and asylum rights.

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