Migrant Forum in Asia
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Email: mfa@mfasia.org | Website: www.mfasia.org

Circular No. 11 Global Compact for Migration: Updates on November and December 2017 Meetings and Upcoming Negotiations Meeting in 2018

Hope all goes well and Happy New Year! We wish you a wonderful and meaningful year this 2018!

There may have been a bit of lag on our monthly circulars on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) and apologies. With this, this circular would be lengthy but significant. Below are updates on:

  1. the Pacific Islands Civil Society Consultation on the GCM held in Nadi, Fiji;
  2. the Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting (AP-RPM) held in Bangkok, Thailand;
  3. the Global Compact for Migration Preparatory meeting, (Stocktaking Meeting) held in Mexico, and;
  4. dates for the upcoming negotiations to be held in New York, USA

With the constant call for the Pacific voice to be heard and listened to, the Pacific Island Association for Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO), Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF), in collaboration with Diplomacy Training Program (DTP), the University of Sydney, and Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) organized the Pacific Islands Civil Society Consultation on the GCM held in Nadi, Fiji on 2-3 November 2017. The consultation aimed to inform Pacific Islands civil society about the GCM (and migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development); and to enable Pacific Islands civil society representatives to provide their perspectives and input into the GCM process and outcomes. With this, they have published Pacific Outcome Statement highlighting Pacific guiding values and Pacific action priorities such as historic legacies; human rights of migrants; climate change induced migration; circular and temporary migration schemes and remittances, and; migration and development in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For your reference, the Pacific Outcome Statement is attached in this email.

On 6-8 November 2017, the AP-RPM was held in Bangkok, Thailand organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), in collaboration with other UN agencies. As stated in the ESCAP website, the AP-RPM aimed to provide a forum to identify key migration issues, challenges and priorities for the Asia-Pacific region; to identify existing national, bilateral, sub-regional and regional arrangements in place to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration; and to arrive at a set of conclusions that can serve as a regional input into the global stocktaking meeting due to be held in Mexico in December 2017. In doing so, this will help to inform the negotiations on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to ensure that the final document addresses the situations faced by Governments of the Asia-Pacific region, and migrants from, to and between countries of the Asia-Pacific. Notably, during the AP-RPM Meeting, Migrant Forum in Asia had the opportunity to provide and present a civil society statement, representing civil society from and in Asia, and the Pacific Islands. The statement is attached in this email and is available in the ESCAP website:

http://www.unescap.org/events/asia-pacific-regional-preparatory-meeting-global-compact-safe-orderly-
and-regular-migration

The program agenda, list of participants, statements, documents, side events, and other information are available in the link above. A couple of notable documents are The Chair’s Summary and the Report of the Meeting, which can be found attached in this email (also available in the link above). We have also included the first draft of both documents which was circulated to participants of the meeting on 8 November 2017. Both documents served as a reference point of Asia and the Pacific to take stock of the inputs for the GCM on 4-6 December 2017 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The government-led Global Compact for Migration Preparatory meeting (stocktaking meeting) provided a platform for different nations and stakeholders to jointly shape a vision for the GCM. provided a platform for different nations and stakeholders to jointly shape a vision for the GCM. As noted in article 25 of the modalities resolution (https://undocs.org/A/RES/71/280), this summary will “inform the basis of the zero draft of the global compact.” Therefore, we encourage everyone to review it closely to prepare for the presentation of the zero draft which is expected in early February 2018. The Chair’s Summary, along with the program agenda, list of participants, statements, documents, side events, and other information are available in the link below:

http://refugeesmigrants.un.org/stocktaking-phase

Thailand provided general contributions to the Stocktaking meeting, while Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates have provided contributions to the Secretary-General’s report (follow link: http://refugeesmigrants.un.org/SGReport). Other Member States also present were from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar (tbc), Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Viet Nam. There were no representatives from Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.

Prior to this, the Global Civil Society Stocktaking and Strategy Meeting was held on 2-3 December 2017, organized by the Global Coordinating Office of the International Catholic Migration Commission’s Migration and Development Civil Society (MADE) Network. As stated in MADE’s website, this gathering was structured so as to provide a space for civil society to meet together on priority issues and messages to bring into the government-led Stocktaking Conference, to strategize for the Negotiations Phase of the GCM that begins in February 2018, and to engage in direct conversations with governments.

Representatives from Asia and the Pacific Islands civil society presented the outcomes of the regional consultations, as referred to in the Civil Society Statement during the AP-RPM. More information of the
civil society meeting is available on the website below:

http://madenetwork.org/civil-society-stocktaking

Lastly, the intergovernmental negotiations on the global compact for migration will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The schedule will be as follow:

  • 20 February 2018 and 22-23 February 2018
  • 12-15 March 2018
  • 3-6 April 2018
  • 14-18 May 2018
  • 4-8 June 2018
  • 9-13 July 2018

For updates on the negotiations phase, please check the website from time to time. http://refugeesmigrants.un.org/intergovernmental-negotiations

Sincerely,
MFA Secretariat

About Us

MFA is a regional network of non-government organizations (NGOs), associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant workers.

It is guided by a vision of an alternative world system based on respect for human rights and dignity, social justice, and gender equity, particularly for migrant workers.

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