The 2016 Bangladesh Chairmanship
The GFMD 2016 Chairmanship of Bangladesh primarily focused on the improvement of migration governance. Under the overarching theme, “Migration that works for Sustainable Development of all: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda,” the Bangladesh Chair focused on three main pillars - economics, sociology, and governance - of migration and development. The overarching theme is based on a ‘SDG Plus’ approach, i.e. the incorporation and advancement of a range of migration specific issues, ideas and elements that have already been recognized in, inter alia, the two UN General Assembly High level Dialogues on International Migration and Development (2007, 2013) and in various other dialogues, platforms, global consultative processes and outcome documents over the past decade.
Each migrant has a unique story to tell... Migrants contribute their ideas, labour and resources in the development of the host societies… Migration connects communities, economies and societies... We need to identify convergence of our interests, balance our needs, aspirations, security concerns and opportunities… We need to see how we can realize the transformative potential of migration by laying appropriate framework for governance of migration… We need to secure a predictable and responsible international response to migration and refugees to realize the promises of 'transformation' of the Agenda 2030…”
H.E. Sheikh Hasina
Honourable Prime Minister Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
GFMD 2016 galvanized efforts of the global community to contribute towards delivering a comprehensive framework for the global governance of human mobility, which had been previously lacking. The GFMD advocated for the active participation of member states in the UNGA High Level Summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach. This Summit produced the New York Declaration (NYD), which laid out plans to develop two Global Compacts - one on Migration and another on Refugees. The NYD also explicitly invited the GFMD to contribute to the intergovernmental negotiations leading to the GCM. To this end, the GFMD 2016 Chair convened a first GFMD Dialogue on the Global Migration Compact in New York.
The 2030 Agenda was also of central importance throughout the Bangladesh GFMD Chairmanship. In response to Member States’ strong interest in the GFMD playing an important role in the follow-up of the migration-specific and migration-related targets of the 2030 Agenda, and in the lead-up to the GCM, the GFMD Ad Hoc Working Group on the 2030 Agenda and the GCM was formed to provide recommendations on how the Forum could engage with these processes. Looking inward, the GFMD Ad Hoc Working Group on Communications was also created to consider ways to enhance the visibility and strengthen the delivery power of the GFMD process.
Another significant aspect of the GFMD 2016 was the first year of implementation of the GFMD Business Mechanism, which was established at the Istanbul Summit in 2015. In Dhaka, the first GFMD Business meeting was held, proposing to make a “business case for migration”. Several recommendations evolved from GFMD’s engagement with the business community concerning diverse topics, including enforcing fair and ethical recruitment laws; encouraging business to advocate for fair and open migration policy; countering xenophobia; and highlighting the positive economic, social and cultural contributions of migrants.
Ninth Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development
10-12 December 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh
The 2016 GFMD Summit Meeting was held in a ground-breaking and transformative year for international migration governance, and so focused on the central theme, “Migration that works for Sustainable Development for All: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda.” Speeches in the Opening Session set the tone of the Summit, underlining the enabling role and positive impact of migration and migrants for economic, political and social development (citing in particular the impact of overseas migrants’ workers for the development of Bangladesh), while also recognizing that many challenges still lie ahead: given the current system is under strain, they highlighted the need for better governance of international migration.
The Summit featured a robust agenda, including the Common Space session, six in-depth roundtable sessions, special sessions on the Future of the Forum and the Platform for Partnerships, a number of thematic meetings, and six unique side events. Throughout these sessions the role of the GFMD in the 2030 Agenda and the upcoming negotiations for the GCM was repeatedly highlighted. Moreover, during the Future of the Forum session, Member States unanimously resolved to maintain the GFMD as a privileged platform for policy exchange, and the Forum agreed that it should play an important role in the framing of the Global Compact on Migration going forward.