Since 2007, the GFMD has convened a number of meetings every year, culminating in a Summit Meeting hosted by the rotating GFMD Chair. Each meeting focuses on an overarching theme that reflects the national priorities of the Char-in-Office, as well as emerging issues for the international migration and development community. In this sense, each Chairmanship has its own distinctive and innovative elements, and the Forum is always evolving to keep pace with the changing needs of the global community. In general, the activities of the GFMD include the following:
GFMD preparatory process
GFMD preparatory process is made up of a number of meetings and activities over the course of each Chairmanship, including the preparatory meetings of the GFMD Supporting structures (the Troika, Steering Group, and Friends of the Forum), Roundtable Team Consultations, and GFMD Thematic Workshops.
Preparatory meetings inform the annual GFMD Summit and the overall international migration and development objectives by setting agendas, addressing practical and logistical elements of the forum, and discussing substantive matters concerning states and observers. The Roundtable Team Consultations are preparatory meetings led by 2-3 Government Teams that volunteer to co-chair a Roundtable session. These sessions provide a venue for the conceptualizing, drafting and finalizing of the Roundtable background papers, which stimulate debate around policy options and provide guiding questions for the roundtables which take place during each Summit meeting. Finally, the Thematic Workshops offer a dedicated space to discuss relevant issues in-depth, and an innovative approach to complement the traditional RT consultations.
GFMD Summit meetings
Each Summit Meeting is hosted by the Chair-in-Office in their home country. The core component of the Summit meeting is an inter-governmental meeting, open to all States Members and Observers of the UN. In general, participants in the Government Meeting are high-level policy makers or practitioners on the ground who engage in informal dialogue on the linkages between migration and development and how to tackle the challenges faced in these areas.
Over the years, the Summit meeting events have also expanded to provide opportunities for multi- stakeholder participation:
- The GFMD Civil Society Days (CSD), a two day meeting held preceding or in tandem with the government meeting, provides a platform for discussion among representatives of Civil Society and NGOs, migrant associations, diaspora organizations, and representatives of trade unions and the private sector, which work in relation to migration and development issues. These days provide one of the important links between the GFMD and civil society. The CSD and the government meeting are bridged by the “Common Space”, held during the government meeting, which brings together governments, civil society and other stakeholders. The Common Space is jointly organized by the GFMD Chair/Support Unit and the CSD Coordinating Office (the ICMC). A representative of the CSD is usually invited to speak at the opening session of the government meeting in order to signal important issues to governments.
- Beginning in Bangladesh GFMD 2016, the GFMD Business Meeting has also been incorporated into the agenda of the Government Meeting, providing a space for governments and businesses to share experiences and learn about new trends in linking the business agenda with migration and development policies. The Business Meeting is organized by the GFMD Business Mechanism, which also hosts other events throughout the year.
- In 2017, the Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration, and Development (“Mayoral Forum”) was held back to back with the GFMD Summit, in order to strengthen the links of local authorities with the GFMD. Following the success of this endeavor, in 2018 the GFMD approved a proposal to formalize the relationship between local authorities participating in the Mayoral Forum and GFMD through the establishment of a “Mayors Mechanism” for the GFMD. This meeting will allow the GFMD Summit to incorporate the views of local authorities into discussion.