‘Global Forum On Migration And Development’ Discusses Global Migration Governance, Leverage The Development And Economic Benefits Of Migration
BERLIN, 28th June, 2017 — The annual Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) has opened with commitment from high level officials to advance global migration governance and leverage the development and economic benefits of migration. With Germany and Morocco as the Forum’s current co-chairs, the three-day summit kicked off at Berlin’s Federal Foreign Office with remarks by Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, and the Kingdom of Morocco’s Secretary General and Ministry Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, El Habib Nadir.
“Only collective action and renewed cooperation based on shared responsibility and development can maximize the positive effects of migration on host countries, countries of origin and on migrants themselves,” said Nadir.
Other speakers at the opening ceremony included the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration, Louise Arbour, the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration, William Lacy Swing, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation, Guy Ryder.
William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organisation for Migration, spoke about the GFMD’s past, its present and some thoughts about the future.
” Migratory realities are not the same everywhere. Each government has its specific set of interests, concerns and priorities. There are many overlaps, of course, but equally many differences,” he noted.
The GFMD’s first achievement has been to bring governments from all regions of the world to survey the migratory landscape and in due course civil society and the private sector joined the deliberations. The second achievement has been the development of a broad balanced agenda built around the core issue of migration and development. The GFMD’s third achievement has been its very significant contributions other global consultative processes such the second High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development, the 2030 Agenda, and, especially, the September 2016 Summit on Refugees and Migration,” he stated.
The present is well-reflected in the Forum’s agenda for this week and particularly in the roundtable themes and topics,” he added.
”The need to promote coherence between national and local policies to ensure coordinated response at every level of government.
The importance of encouraging partnerships to enhance the development impact of migration and to facilitate voluntary return.
The relevance of cooperation with the private sector and the civil society to explore new avenues for the integration of migrants in the job market and in the host community in general,” he explained.
”While the roadmap to the future of migration has now been fully drawn yet, we know the name of the next important milestone. It is the Global Compact on Migration,” he said.
”The GCM invites the international community to move away from reactive, unidimensional approaches to migration governance, and to reach consensus on a comprehensive framework which will enable migrants to move in a safe, orderly and dignified way.” ”The fact is, migration will continue, whether we act or whether we don’t but migrants will be forced to undertake more arduous and irregular pathways if they are not presented with legal and safe alternatives. And migration governance will become an even more intractable conundrum.
We must not go there. The Global Compact Migration point us in a different direction. A direction I have sometimes referred to as the “High Road”: Facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration – the migration we wish to have; Reducing the incidence and impacts of forced and irregular migration – the migration we do not wish to have; and Responding to the mobility impacts of natural and human-made disasters – the migration that occurs whether we want it or not.
To do so we must place migrants and their rights, needs and capacities at the heart of our efforts, and we need to address the relationship of migration to critical adjoining policy domains, including development, humanitarian, climate change, and peace and security, in a truly comprehensive way.
The event anticipates the participation of more than 700 policymakers and practitioners from 140 states, international organizations, civil society and the private sector.
Attendees will focus on the theme, “Towards a Global Social Contract on Migration and Development,” and more specifically on balancing the best interests of migrants and their countries of origin, transit and destination, within the goal of safe, dignified and well-managed migration.
Outcomes of the summit will feed into the ongoing process of forging a “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” a framework for effective migration governance to be adopted by the United Nations in 2018.
The Global Forum on Migration and Development was set up by the United Nations in 2007 to be an informal, non-binding, voluntary and government-led venue for high-level discussions on policies, challenges and opportunities of the “migration-development nexus.” The Berlin summit marks the culmination of more than a decade of international dialogue and cooperation on migration and development.
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