The Future of Human Mobility: Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Development



The United Arab Emirates took over the Chairmanship of the GFMD from Ecuador on February 1st 2020.

The UAE has three strategic priorities for 2020:

  • Broadening stakeholder engagement in the GFMD
  • Incorporating regional perspectives into the development of background material for the Summit
  • Further orientating the GFMD towards a focus on partnerships and outcomes


The UAE’s full plans for the coming year are set out in the document “GFMD 2020 Integrated Proposal by the UAE” (which can be found here).


The UAE, in cooperation with an Advisory Group consisting of former Chairs, and the three GFMD stakeholder mechanisms, has set out six thematic priorities for the year. These are:

  1. The Governance of Labour Migration in the Context of Changing Employment Landscapes
  2. Skilling Migrants for Employment
  3. Leveraging New Technologies to Empower Migrants
  4. Addressing Gaps in Migrant Protection
  5. Discussing Approaches to Address Irregular Migration – What Works? What Doesn’t?
  6. Fostering Partnerships to Realise Migration-Related Goals in the Sustainable Development Agenda and Managing the Future of Human Mobility


The UAE has proposed that six GFMD regional consultations be held over the course of 2020, with the assistance of state-led regional processes.

The regional consultations will elaborate on the six thematic priorities, which will then inform two Friends of the Forum meetings to be held in June / July and September / October of 2020 in Geneva. The Friends of the Forum meetings will finalise background documents for the Summit, which is anticipated to take place in Dubai in January 2021.  

Terms of Reference - 2020 GFMD Regional Consultations through Video Conferencing


In line with the UAE’s focus on fostering partnerships, two Migration Labs will be held on the margins of the two Friends of the Forum meetings in Geneva. The UAE has invited Labour Mobility Partnerships (LaMP) to facilitate these Migration Labs.

The core objective of the Migration Labs is to establish partnerships and cooperation between countries and other stakeholders on the six thematic streams, which will be launched during the Open Space at the Summit in Dubai. 

The two sessions will take inputs from the six regional meetings and identify and foster possible partnership ideas that would benefit from additional research and development. 


The UAE will ensure that the entirety of the Summit is open to all stakeholders. Recognising the need for some stakeholder groups to hold internal consultations, time and space will be provided prior to the opening of the Summit. The 2020 Summit will therefore comprise three key elements: Stakeholder Consultations; Thematic Round-Tables; Open Space. In addition, the UAE is proposing to enable a series of ‘Networking Meetings’ to enable non-government participants to meet with government delegates.

Any questions or requests for more information about the UAE’s GFMD Chairmanship may be addressed to Mr Alex Zalami, Head of the GFMD Task-Force (email: