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

Global Forum on Migration and Development

In September 2006, the United Nations General Assembly convened a High-Level Dialogue to discuss the nexus between migration and development. Secretary General Kofi Annan was a vigorous supporter of the Dialogue, and believed it should mark the beginning of inter-governmental discussions about migration and development. To this end he proposed the creation of a Global Forum, which would make new policy ideas more widely known, catalyze constructive conversations about the issues among governments, add value to existing regional consultations, and encourage an integrated approach to migration and development at both the national and international levels. More than 127 countries were represented at the High-Level Dialogue, the majority at ministerial level. Following a constructive debate, more than two-thirds of those present at the UN meeting expressed support for the creation of a permanent Global Forum on Migration and Development. The Belgian government offered to host the Forum’s inaugural session in Brussels in 2007.

Aim and Agenda of the ‘Global Forum on Migration and Development’

The Global Forum is a government-led initiative that is open to all 192 United Nations Member States. It is not a decision-making or policymaking body. It is a voluntary process, that wants to address issues related to migration and development in a manner that goes beyond mere analysis. It should identify best practices, promote the exchange of experiences, identify obstacles to smart policymaking, explore and adopt innovative approaches, and enhance cooperation among countries.

Through a consultative process which involved about 115 governments, two themes were identified as top priorities for the first meeting of the Forum: ‘Migration and socio-economic development’, and ‘Best ways to strengthen the links between migration policies and development policies’. In July, these issues will be addressed by the governments in roundtable discussions that focus on the following topics:

  • Human Capital Development and Labour Mobility: Maximising Opportunities and Minimizing Risks
  • Remittances and other Diaspora Resources: Increasing their Volume and Development Value
  • Enhancing Institutional and Policy Coherence, and Promoting Partnerships

The Belgian government, while aware that most governments wanted to maintain the ‘governments only’ character of the Global Forum, deemed it necessary to hear the voice of civil society actors on the issue of migration and development. The King Baudouin Foundation was asked to organise an event in advance of the intergovernmental discussions to allow civil society actors to discuss relevant issues and to offer organized input to the intergovernmental discussions.

The Civil Society Day

The Civil Society Day will take place on July 9th, in Brussels. Civil society actors from around the world will participate at this event and will include diaspora organisations, advocacy groups, trade unions, the private sector, and researchers.

The aim of this civil society day is to bring interested non-governmental parties together to exchange ideas and experiences, and to prepare a set of conclusions and if possible, recommendations. A civil society delegation will be invited to the first plenary session of the governmental discussions, to present these recommendations.

The agenda of the civil society day will be focused on preparing recommendations for the governments. Therefore the agenda will largely follow the agenda of the governmental discussions.

How does the civil society day link to the governmental discussions?

Links between the civil society day and the governmental discussions have been established in several ways:

  • A delegation of about 10 civil society participants will be invited to participate in the opening plenary session of the inter-governmental meeting.
  • During this opening plenary session of the governmental discussions, the civil society delegation will report about the civil society deliberations and a discussion will follow with the government representatives.
  • Civil society experts will be invited to the roundtable discussions of the governments.
  • The King Baudouin Foundation has an observer position in the extended Taskforce, which was established by the Belgian government and is tasked to prepare the first meeting of the Global Forum, thus ensuring an effective exchange of information. The King Baudouin Foundation also participates in the “Friends of the Forum”-meetings.
  • The Belgian Taskforce is holding an observer position in the Steering Committee which assists the KBF in preparing the civil society day of the Global Forum meeting in July.

PRESS RELEASES

  • 155 United Nations Member States mark closing of inaugural Global Forum on Migration and Development
  • Presskit Global Forum on Migration and Development
  • General presentation of Round tables and sessions
  • Programme Governmental Days
  • Agenda Civil Society Day
  • Press invitation Global Forum on Migration and Development – Accreditation and pools registration: Friday 29 June, 12.00 am
  • Speech of the Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation Armand De Decker during the press conference of the GFMD (19/04/07)
  • Presentation of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (+website) and Programme Medma-IOM

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.

Regional Secretariat

25 Matiyaga Street,
Central District, Diliman,
Quezon City 1100
Philippines

Phone: +63-2-277-9484
Mobile: +639215405063

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