Ninth Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development

10-12 December 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Government of Bangladesh took over the Chairmanship of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) on 1 January 2016 from Turkey. The Government of Bangladesh has chaired the GFMD throughout 2016, and finalized their efforts in the Ninth GFMD Summit Meeting that was held in Dhaka on 10-12 December.

The 2016 GFMD was organized under the overarching theme of “Migration that works for Sustainable Development for All: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda”. Hereby, the annual GFMD Summit Meeting had three broad strands – the economics of migration, the sociology of migration, and the governance of migration. These were captured in six roundtable sessions and a number of thematic meetings that supported the work of the roundtables.

A common thread of all the roundtables was the improvement of the governance of migration, which in fact has been the primary focus of the Bangladesh Chair of the GFMD. The New York Declaration (NYD) that arose out of the September Summit, the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) and the 2018 intergovernmental conference are best seen as one combined effort to deliver to the world that it has been missing a comprehensive framework for the global governance of human mobility. The NYD explicitly invites the GFMD to contribute to the intergovernmental negotiations leading to the GCM. As a first step, a GFMD dialogue dedicated to the compact was held at the UN in New York in November. The assignment is clearly a difficult one, but the Dhaka Roundtable discussions came out with some very useful pointers.

The 2030 Agenda has also been of central relevance throughout the Bangladesh GFMD Chairmanship. In response to the strong interest in the GFMD to play an important role in the follow-up of the migration-related targets of the 2030 Agenda, an ad hoc working group was formed to provide recommendations on how the Forum could engage with this issue, and also with the Global Compact process.

Another essential element has been the GFMD Business Mechanism that has been put forward to make a “business case for migration”. Several recommendations evolved from the Business Mechanism process, for example with regard to the enforcement of fair and ethical recruitment laws and business engagement in advocacy for fair and open migration policy, in countering xenophobia, and in highlighting the positive economic, social and cultural contributions of migrants.

During the consultations at the Summit about the Future of the Forum, Member States unanimously resolved to maintain the GFMD as a privileged platform for policy exchange. The Forum agreed that it should play an important role in the framing of the Global Compact on Migration.