GFMD 2017-2018 Holds Final Preparatory Meetings

10 April, Geneva - At a time when migration is on the spotlight at all levels of governance, and the global community is riding high on the inclusion of migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) and the launch of the Global Compact on Migration process, the GFMD Co-Chairs Germany and Morocco convened three days of meetings on April 5 to 7 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. 
5 April 2017 – Preparatory Meetings of the GFMD Troika, Steering Group and the Friends of the Forum
The theme of GFMD 2017 under German Co-Chair “Towards a Global Social Contract on Migration and Development” aims at a triple-win goal, i.e., signaling the imperative to address and balance the interests between migrants and their countries of origin, transit and destination within the framework of regular, safe and orderly migration. In that regard, the GFMD German Co-Chair Ambassador Schmidt-Bremme articulated his vision for the GFMD to take an active role and contribute to the Global Compact process by drawing from its rich reservoir of debate outcomes, knowledge and best practices and by providing an informal and inclusive space for dialogue with all plausible multi-stakeholders while remaining the state led process. 
The first day comprised of the Second Troika, Steering Group and Friends of the Forum Preparatory Meetings. The newly appointed SRSG Ms. Louise Arbour delivered at the Second Meeting of the Friends of the Forum a message affirming her will and assurance to prolong the crucial work of Mr. Peter Sutherland and reiterated the significance of his report on migration. She reminded of the challenging tasks lie ahead which is to set a new course for the governance of migration and the objectives to improve the conditions and lives of the millions of people on the move 
The GFMD Co-Chairs, reiterated their wish for substantive proposals for more interactive and dynamic roundtables, as well as outcome-oriented discussions for the Berlin Summit. Each Roundtable Co-chairs were offered the opportunity to give an overview of their respective background paper and guiding questions.  
Climate change and migration were brought forth to the discussion as the Moroccan Co-Chairs briefed the delegates on the forthcoming thematic workshop on Climate Change and Human Mobility on May 24 2017 in Rabat, Morocco. The workshop will consider the GFMD’s contributions to the Global Compact and provide tools to states to respond to challenges created by all kind of human mobility associated to climate change. The Moroccan Co-Chair took the opportunity to also announce the date of the GFMD Summit 2018, which will be held in Marrakesh, 5 to 7 December 2018.
After elaborate presentation by the German Co-Chair on the work plan for the Berlin Summit in June 2017, the Support Unit introduced the “GFMD Mobile App” which will aid delegates in terms of registration, participation and follow up to the Summit.  
Reaffirming the prime focus of Co-Chairs in terms of GFMD’s contribution to the 2030 Agenda and the GCM process, the GFMD Co-Chairs invited the Ad Hoc Working on 2030 Agenda and GCM Co-Chairs, Germany and Bangladesh, to present the paper “Recommendations to the High Level Political Forum”; which gathered substantive GFMD inputs to the 2017 HLPF in New York in July. The document – adopted by the Steering Group - highlights the linkages between migration and the SDGs, explores GFMD best practices, provides specific and general recommendations and will serve as basis for future GFMD-contributions.
Acknowledging the important role that social media can play in substantiating GFMD processes, the Ad hoc Working Group on Communications Co-Chairs Morocco and Mexico presented the updated draft terms of references and work plan on the use of social media. 
Finally, brief discussions during the FOF meeting covered an update on the 2016 financial report and the 2017 budget, the presentation of the 2017 Common Space by ICMC, as well as a summary by IOE of the Business Mechanism Thematic Meeting on “Strengthening public-private dialogue in achieving the GCM” which was organized 3-4 April 2017. 
7 April 2017 - Second Government Roundtable Team Preparatory Meetings on Tenth GFMD Summit Roundtables (June 2017)
The six thematic Roundtables were held on the last day, April 7. The discussions focused on the draft background paper and respective logistical preparation to ensure lively and constructive discussions.
  • Migration and Development through National Strategies: Enhancing the effectiveness of Domestic Policies

    Roundtable 1.1 “Tools and safeguards for policy coherence – finding the right policy mix to balance different interests and objectives” Co-Chairs Moldova, Sri Lanka and United Kingdom took forward their discussion on understanding challenges and envisaging solutions to achieve orderly, safe and regular migration through better policy coherence within the governments at the national and international levels.

    Roundtable 1.2 “From Global Agenda to Implementation – National Action Plans for migration related SDGs” Co-Chairs Bangladesh and Norway, with El Salvador now serving as a rapporteur, encouraged State members to discuss efforts and best practices regarding implementation of migration related SDG targets and best ways to utilize existing mechanisms at the global and national levels and how these recommendations can inform the GCM discussions. 

  • Migration and Development through Multilateral and Bilateral Partnerships.

    Roundtable 2.1 “Moving beyond emergencies – Creating development solutions to the mutual benefit of host and origin communities and displaced persons”  Co-Chairs Denmark and Egypt focused on addressing drivers of forced migration and displacement due to disasters and on exploring the contribution of communities, entrepreneurship, and self-organization in order to foster resilience and contribute to disaster risk reduction and crisis prevention

    Roundtable 2.2 “Fostering the development impact of return migrants” Co-Chairs Nigeria and Switzerland carried on their discussion focusing on the migrants’ contribution to their country of origin, especially through return and reintegration schemes.  The background paper drafted by the Co-Chairs explores sustainable reintegration in the context of international voluntary return and the impact on development of return of migrants in need of assistance.

  • Finding strategies beyond the state: Migration and Development

    Roundtable 3.1 “Raising the Global Talent Pool – Harnessing the Potential of the Private Sector for Global Skills Partnerships” Co-Chairs Australia and Philippines, with Kenya now serving as a rapporteur, addressed positive examples and experiences of developing and enhancing skill creation in order to facilitate labour mobility, to address skills mismatch. It also looked through the contribution of public-private partnerships to facilitate skills recognition.

    Roundtable 3.2 “Strengthening Cooperation – Enabling Civil Society Contributions in Migrant Integration” Co-Chairs Mexico and Canada engaged on the examples, experiences and approaches by the non-state actors and civil society organizations and diaspora communities for further integration of migrants in the societies and how to improve the cooperation between states and CSOs in order to enhance the effectiveness of the integration process.

Therefore, the Second and final GFMD Preparatory Meetings before the Berlin summit complemented the intention of the Current GFMD Host and Co-Chair Germany of structuring the events and sessions in line with the themes of migration related SDGs and GCM. While maintaining a state led character, GFMD is encouraging engagement of multi-stakeholders, gathering ideas and approaches, to effectively contribute to the future GCM consultative processes and implementation of migration related SDGs at the local, national, regional and international levels.