GFMD and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM)

Launch of the Global Compact for Migration Process

On 19 September 2016, world leaders gathered at the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants. From this meeting followed the adoption of the New York Declaration  that recognized the need to strengthen international cooperation on migration. The UN Member States committed to negotiate a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. In order to implement the New York Declaration, an inter-governmental negotiation process on the Modalities Resolution took place from November 2016 until January 2017. This negotiation process was co-facilitated by Switzerland and Mexico, who were appointed by the President of the General Assembly to lead the consultations with States in order to determine the modalities relating to the intergovernmental negotiations. These negotiations have started early 2017 and will lead to an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018, where the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) will be presented for adoption.

GFMD vis-à-vis the GCM Process

In the Modalities Resolution for this Global Compact for Migration, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) has been recognized as an important platform to contribute to the negotiations. Since paragraph 22.b invites the GFMD to contribute to the preparatory process of the global compact, the Bangladesh GFMD Chair of 2016 started the GFMD-led efforts on migration governance.

In the build-up to the UN Summit and the GCM, Bangladesh focused its Chairmanship on the theme of governance of migration in the spirit of working towards a Global Compact. The GFMD Summit of 2016 in Dhaka had a strong focus on the Global Compact, particularly through Roundtable 3.2 on ‘Principles, institutions and processes for safe, orderly and regular migration’, where the key role of GFMD in the GCM process was recognized. Besides the centrality of governance of migration during the Dhaka Summit, Bangladesh also organized the first GFMD Dialogue on the GCM, on 14 November 2016 in New York. This meeting marked the first focused discussion within the framework of the GFMD on what a Global Compact for Migration could look like.

These efforts have been taken forward by the GFMD 2017-2018 Co-Chairs Germany and Morocco, who are Co-Chairing the GFMD during this vital period and have structured their Co-Chairmanship around working towards a valuable GFMD contribution to the Global Compact. Under the overarching theme “Towards a Global Social Contract on Migration and Development”, the Co-Chairs signal the imperative to address and balance the interests between migrants and their countries of origin, transit, and destination, within the framework of regular and orderly migration. Back-to-back with the first two preparatory meetings, the Co-Chairs have organized two GFMD Dialogues on the Global Migration Compact. With the Modalities Resolution for the intergovernmental negotiations on the GCM finalized just before the first Dialogue on the GCM, the main focus was on how to elaborate GFMD’s contribution to the GCM. There was widespread affirmation among Member States and Observers on the role of GFMD in the GCM. At this occasion, an approach on how GFMD could contribute to the compact process was suggested, that was described with three “S” - Substance, Space and Stakeholders. A second GFMD Dialogue on the GCM under the 2017-2018 Co-Chairmanship will further elaborate on these three aspects of GFMD’s contribution to the GCM on 6 April 2017. In addition, GFMD will organize a thematic workshop to synthesize all GFMD-GCM inputs on 6 September 2017.

With an explicit invitation for the GFMD to submit a contribution to the GCM, it was further decided at the Dhaka Summit in December 2016 that the mandate of the ad hoc Working Group on the 2030 Agenda would be continued under the 2017-2018 Co-Chairmanship, and that its mandate would be extended to cover the GCM (and, hence, has been renamed to ‘ad hoc Working Group on the 2030 Agenda and the GCM’). With the support of this Working Group, the German-Moroccan Co-Chairmanship will organize several other events to develop GFMD’s contribution to the GCM.


Key references:

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants - 19 September 2016