Fourth Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development
8-11 November 2010, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The fourth meeting of the GFMD was hosted by Mexico in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco from 8 to 11 November 2010. It was attended by 131 countries and 38 international organizations.
It was, by all accounts, a successful meeting of minds of government and civil society on a range of problems - both old and new - relating to migration and development.
The overarching theme of “Partnerships for Migration and Human Development; Shared Prosperity, Shared Responsibility” guided both the Government and Civil Society components of the meeting. As a result, the meeting moved the ever-evolving GFMD process forward to new interactions between governments and civil society.
As a major country of origin, transit and destination, Mexico was well positioned to host the 2010 GFMD. As part of larger regional integration processes, Mexico understands the importance of cross-border cooperation and partnerships. Protecting and empowering migrants and their families is a responsibility that Governments know can best be met in partnerships with other countries, civil society, international organizations and the migrants themselves.
Thus, a key objective of GFMD 2010 was to examine partnerships, and how they are created, as effective mechanisms to address the causes, challenges and effects of migration for development, and of development for migration, among countries of origin, transit and destination, and how they can facilitate more comprehensive, balanced policies and a greater willingness to share responsibility. Non-governmental actors play a critical role in this.
The GFMD 2010 revisited some concepts, broke with some old stereotypes and cast a fresh eye on some issues key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (gender, protection of vulnerable groups). The 2010 GFMD process also aimed to focus on development in its broader sense, i.e. human development, in order to discuss certain aspects that were deemed by some as incompletely discussed in previous GFMD meetings, particularly human rights of and protection for all migrants.
The animated exchanges during the Roundtable discussions introduced some new themes and offered new angles on old ones, like irregular migration, family and gender. But they also examined and proposed follow-up actions. Some of today´s good practices have actually evolved with the GFMD, or have been catalyzed by its discussions and some of these will continue to do so next year and beyond.
In preparation of the 4th GFMD, the ad hoc Working Groups undertook flanking studies and workshops to connect outcomes from previous GFMDs to this year´s discussion and bring some fresh evidence to the Roundtables.
A number of thematic and regional meetings around the world adapted their agendas to the 2010 GFMD themes, clear evidence that the GFMD is having a cohering effect on the international debate on migration and development.
At Puerto Vallarta a new facility - the Platform for Partnerships - was presented and discussed. It is intended to facilitate partnerships on current GFMD topics, previous GFMD outcomes or follow-up activities.
The special session on the future of the Forum set the tracks for a team of governments to initiate the assessment of the GFMD process. It will look back on what the GFMD has achieved to date and forward to where it may lead in the future. By 2012 this inventory of effectiveness and impacts should help identify what needs to be done in order to secure the continuing viability and relevance of the GFMD.
The Mexican presidency also successfully tried to strengthening the government-civil society interaction by creating a Common Space, which brought the two components of the GFMD together, in a change from the more traditional character of the opening plenary debate.
This was intended to redress what some delegations had come to see as an inadequate “interface” between government and Civil Society Days (CSD) during past GFMD meetings. It also responded to calls from both governments and civil society for new forms of cooperation and collaboration in addressing migration and development. The Common Space will hopefully become a recurrent feature in the GFMD process.
In short: the 2010 GFMD aimed for change, and tried to set the stage for more flexible and imaginative approaches to cooperation and partnership between government and non-state actors in migration and development.
On December 3, 2010 Mexico transferred the presidency of the GFMD to the government of the Swiss Federation.