3-4 April 2017, Geneva—Under the overarching theme of “Strengthening public-private dialogue in achieving the United Nations Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM),” the GFMD Business Mechanism hosted a two-day business thematic meeting to inform the comprehensive GFMD Business Report to be presented during the Tenth GFMD Summit in Berlin (28-30 June 2017). The GFMD 2017-2018 Co-Chairmanship participated in this thematic meeting.
The first day was dedicated to a workshop for business participants on “Defining the Business Needs in the Governance of Mobility and Labour Migration,” while the second day provided an opportunity for business to hold a dialogue between governments and the civil society to identify priority areas for dialogue and cooperation with various stakeholders.
During the presentation of government-led initiatives on migration and development on April 3, Mr. Sönke Lorenz, Head of Unit of Migration Issues of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, set the context of the GFMD business mechanism within the GFMD framework. He also highlighted the ambition of the GFMD 2017-2018 Co-Chairmanship to contribute to the Global Compact on Migration (GCM). Together with Morocco Co-Chair representatives and the GFMD Support Unit, he participated in four parallel breakout sessions led by GFMD business committees on the following topics: the need for skills mobility, responsible recruitment, innovation for migrants and refugee access to labour markets, and entrepreneurship and circular migration.
At the opening plenary session on April 4, Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme, German Ambassador for the 2017-2018 GFMD Co-Chairmanship, explained the German-Moroccan Co-Chairmanship efforts to lay the groundwork for the GFMD’s contribution to the GCM by working closely with the business sector and the civil society. He also underscored Germany’s strong model of corporate engagement through its partnerships with the employers’ associations and chamber of commerce, as well with the migrant workers’ countries of origins. In the end, he challenged the participants to provide guidelines and to “name and fame” good practices among employers that could inspire other business enterprises to follow. Mr. Ahmed Skim, Morocco’s Director of Migration Affairs, delivered on behalf of GFMD Co-Chair Morocco some closing remarks, in which he affirmed the vital role of private sector in the governance of migration at all levels.
The two-day business thematic meeting concluded with a strong call for greater collaboration among stakeholders, particularly among governments, to promote clear, transparent and coherent migration policies and facilitate global movement of skills and economic growth. Given the growing skills mismatches and gaps in many countries, not to mention the looming demographic challenges, the GFMD Business Mechanism also recognized the urgent need for businesses to advocate for a regulatory environment where labour migration policies support the generation of jobs, promote entrepreneurship and effective circular migration, as well as provide employment opportunities for migrants and refugees. Finally, the participants proposed that the GCM should include elements of good governance (“orderly migration”) which recognize labour market needs, as well as legal pathways (“regular migration”) that enable the well-managed movement of skills across borders.
Endorsed as a permanent feature of the GFMD, the Business Mechanism articulates the priorities of the private sector and brings its expertise in promoting more transparent, effective and humane migration policies. It provides a platform to broaden public-private dialogue and deepen the involvement of businesses in international migration governance under the GFMD framework.