Migrant Forum in Asia
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Circular 27: Global Compact for Migration Last Round of Negotiations

Dear All,

Hope all goes well and greetings from MFA!

We would like to share with you that the negotiations phase has concluded its last round on 9-13 July. In this round, Member States were given the first couple of days to share their comments, feedback, and suggestions to the text of the GCM draft. Different groups of States have also shared their thoughts and suggestions. Such statements include the group of friends on decent work and sustainable development; group of friends of children; group of friends of gender; group of like-minded States; group of African States; group of Arab States; and the group of 27 European Union States. Attached are the statements that were acquired by the effort of civil society.

With this, the co-facilitators took the remainder of the days to re-draft and release the final version of the Global Compact, which will be adopted during the Intergovernmental Conference on the Adoption of the Global Compact in Morocco on 11-12 December 2018. The final version of the GCM will be brought back to the Capitol to move forward with the process in preparation for the Conference in December but also on its full implementation in the coming years. Although there are States who are very vocal on the possibility of withdrawing from the GCM process, many States have expressed their gratitude to finally have a discussion at the global level on international migration, and to have an international governance framework in the last couple of years.


A lot have expressed their concern on the implementation of the GCM. IN order for it to be holistic and effective, there needs to be a change of culture among the actors and stakeholders, including UN agencies and IOM as the leading agency for GCM. This mainly focuses on not being projectized and compartmentalized at both vertical and horizontal manner. As international migration is a cross-cutting issue, different actors and stakeholders need to look further on how to work on migration and its connectivity to other issues and social movements.

There was also a concern expressed by civil society on how their role can and should be institutionalized at the implementation, follow-up and review given that the current structure of IOM is intergovernmental. During the dialogue with the IOM, there has been internal discussions and thinking at different levels on the re-structuring of the organization, in which they are open to recommendations from other actors and stakeholders.

As stated by the SRSG on international migration, there will be a Framing Conference in October 2018 to discuss how UN migration network could reform its way of working to be able to fully implement the Global Compacts. This includes the budgeting and financing, administrative and program restructuring, among other things. More information will be shared once available.

At this time, it would be very important to remain vigilant on how States are planning to implement the GCM in relation to the SDGs and the current policies and practices that already exist to achieve the objectives in the GCM. We should be mindful how the GCM could bring us to another direction on the international migration discourse, but that we should not be limited by it. We need to continue how to utilize and maximize other processes and platforms in the region to ensure a safe, orderly, and regular migration wherein migrants and members of their families can exercise their rights and access services they are entitled to, regardless of their migration status.

Please find attached relevant documents (statements from governments, CSOs and trade unions) from the last round of negotiations.


MFA Secretariat

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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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