GFMD and Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs)
The Regional Consultative Processes on Migration provide an informal platform for governments, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders for an exchange of views on migration-related issues. Like the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), RCPs offer a space for state-led, non-binding and informal dialogue on a range of migration issues that are determined by them at the point of their founding or as determined by the ever-changing migration landscape.
From the first GFMD meeting in 2007 to GFMD 2010, RCPs have been a key focus of GFMD Roundtable discussions. Participating Member States examined the role that RCPs could play in advancing cooperation between states on migration governance in relation to development. Such discussions resulted in the convening of global RCP meetings beginning 2009, to which the GFMD Troika is always invited several studies on the impact of RCPs on migration governance and aligning of the agenda by various RCPs according to the GFMD thematic priorities. In 2010, Member States acknowledged that the GFMD debates contributed to a better understanding of the migration and development nexus and had a certain effect on how the agendas of RCPs have progressively evolved over the years.
The Belgian Chairmanship of 2007 focused on broadening the understanding of how RCPs are structured and how they deal with issues related to the migration and development nexus. The Philippine Chairmanship of 2008 reiterated the notion of state ownership and leadership of the RCPs. The Greek Chair in 2009 built upon the achievements of the previous two Chairs, and focused on the key developments that took place following the first two GFMDs with regard to the RCPs.
GFMD 2010, led by Chair Mexico, focused on a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to involve a wider range of Ministries in the RCPs, in line with GFMD’s focus on improving policy and institutional coherence on migration and development, which has proved to be a challenge for many Member States. While the same Member States participate in both GFMD and RCP meetings, the Ministries and agencies involved and serving as focal points are often different. In most cases, the GFMD deals primarily with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whereas some RCPs draw participation largely from other Ministries (e.g., Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labour).
Perhaps owing to said structural challenges, the relationship between the GFMD and the RCPs has been rather ad hoc. The outcomes of RCP deliberations are not automatically fed back into GFMD discussions. The GFMD hears invariably about the progress in some RCPs from certain Member States that play an active role or provide financial and technical support to these RCPs. Moreover, there are only 5 RCP (and Inter-Regional Forum) Secretariats that are considered as GFMD Observers.
Nonetheless, with the increasing global awareness about migration and development challenges, and in light of recent and emerging processes, there has been a renewed call for closer cooperation between the GFMD and the RCPs. Both GFMD and the RCPs have been invited to contribute to the follow up on the implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and to the process of elaborating a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration by 2018. Paragraph 22.B of the Modalities Resolution of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) designates RCPs as a platform through which Member States may contribute to the GCM process. In this regard, the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) was the first RCP to have committed to engage actively in the GCM, following the adoption of the Colombo Declaration.
RCPs vs. Inter-Regional Forums (IRFs)
Inter-Regional Forums (IRFs) are state-led, informal and non-binding dialogues on migration that connect two or more regions. IRFs share information and experiences and seek to find common solutions in the area of migration and the migration-development context. They thus also offer useful good practices and “lessons learned”. IRFs do not have the regular and informal levels of consultation commonly associated with RCPs and may take the form of broad and inclusive forum events that are largely unrestricted in their number of participants. Prior to the introduction of the term IRF in 2010, RCP was the common term for any migration dialogue process.
- RT Session 3.3: Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs), Inter-regional Consultative Fora and Regional Organizations and Economic
- Roundtable Session 3.3: How Can Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) and Inter-Regional Fora (IRF) Best Include the Migration
- Annex to RT 3.3: "Key Developments within Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) and Interregional Fora (IRFs) post- 2009 Athens GFMD"
Links to IOM website and documents: