Sixth Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development
19-22 November 2012, Port Louis, Mauritius
The sixth annual GFMD Concluding Summit Meeting in 2012 was held in Pailles, Mauritius on 19-22 November 2012. 500 delegates, including Ministers and Vice-Ministers, from 129 States participated in the Forum including a large percentage of the ACP and African Union countries.
Chaired by Financial Secretary Ali Mansoor from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, it held the theme of “Enhancing the Human Development of Migrants and their Contribution to the Development of Communities and States”. Under this theme, GFMD 2012 pursued the following concrete objectives:
- Place more emphasis on the development dimensions of the Global Forum.
- Consolidate the consultation process with civil society and international organizations, and engage the private sector and diaspora more closely in the activities and outcomes of the Forum.
- Produce a common vision for the future of the Forum through the completion of the second phase of the two-year internal Assessment of the GFMD.
- Bring the Forum to Africa and reinforce Africa’s perspectives on the development dimension of migration.
To fulfill these goals, several thematic and preparatory meetings were held in Mauritius throughout the year. The overall work agenda of GFMD 2012 also included the organization of a series of brainstorming debates and workshops on key migration and development themes.
Development was a central focus for GFMD 2012, as demonstrated by the fact that the Forum was chaired for the first time by a national development agency (Ministry of Finance and Economic Development). In recognition of the linkage between human development and migrant rights, the protection of migrants featured directly in two of the three GFMD 29012 Roundtables listed below:
- RT 1 - Circulating Labour for Inclusive Development
- RT 2 - Factoring Migration into Development Planning
- RT 3 - Managing Migration and Migrant Protection for Human Development Outcomes
The Mauritian GFMD Chair challenged Forum participants to go beyond dialogue to find some workable plans to improve the situation of migrants, their families and communities. The Chair urged governments and their partners in their final preparations to keep their gaze fixed on concrete and workable policies and programs, rather than just generate more talk.
In order to fulfill the goal of bringing the Forum to Africa, Mauritius initiated some new discussions with interested African governments, other African actors and the EU on facilitating trans-border labour mobility and skills development in Africa to stimulate jobs-based growth across the continent.
Mauritius also engaged with civil society from the earliest stages of preparation, benefiting from the joint brainstorming at various preparatory events. The GFMD 2012 Common Space under the overarching theme, Migration and Development: Common Ground and Partnerships in Action, introduced a different and more interactive format, with more break-out sessions and the use of social media via Twitter in one of the Common Space panels. As in the past, the GFMD 2012 Civil Society Days (CSD), 19 and 20 November 2012, were organized ahead of the Government Meeting.
Furthermore, the Mauritian GFMD team pursued a transparent and inclusive process in preparing the Summit meeting and guiding Phase 2 of the GFMD Assessment. The consolidated assessment report (2011-2012) outlined the vision of Global Forum and identified areas for further improvement in order to ensure the sustainability of the GFMD and to enhance its delivery power. Also in line with the GFMD 2012 report, a thematic recollection highlighting the achievements of the GFMD summit meetings from 2007 until 2012 was submitted as an input to the October 2013 High Level Dialogue.
GFMD 2012 has pushed the boundaries a little further, and opened up the Forum to be more inclusive, transparent, development-focused and outcome-oriented. The aim was to strengthen the “D” in GFMD. Mr Ali Mansoor formally handed over the GFMD Chairmanship to the incoming GFMD 2014 Chair Sweden who would serve as Chair in 2013 and 2014 (over an 18-month period).