Monday, 06 February 2017

GFMD Dialogue: A firm step towards a Global Compact on Migration

Geneva - On 2 February 2017, a GFMD Dialogue on the Global Compact on Migration was held under the German-Moroccan Co-Chairmanship of the GFMD. The urgency and importance of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) process was reflected by the attendance of more than 150 delegates from over 100 governments and international organizations in this first GFMD 2017-2018 event since Germany and Morocco took over as GFMD Chair on 1 January 2017.

Key Elements of the Final Draft of the GCM Modalities Resolution

With the Modalities Resolution for the process for adoption of the Global Compact for safe, regular and orderly migration finalized, this GFMD Dialogue provided a platform to reflect on what the road to the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) should look like. GFMD was invited to contribute to the development of the GCM (under Article 22.B). In opening the discussions, Mr. Sönke Lorenz (representing GFMD 2017-2018 Co-Chair Germany) explained that GFMD 2017 will be oriented towards the six thematic clusters mentioned in the Modalities Resolution, which would also be the focus of the Tenth GFMD Summit roundtables to be held in Berlin on 28-30 June 2017.

Previous Chair Bangladesh, represented by Ambassador Shameem Ahsan, elaborated on the pioneering role of the GFMD 2016 Bangladesh Chairmanship in kick-starting the process of working towards a global compact on migration. The GFMD 2016 centered its thematic agenda on the governance of international migration and, as such, organized a first ever dialogue on the GCM on 14 November 2016 in New York. At the Ninth GFMD Summit in Dhaka, participating heads of delegation in the Future of the Forum session came to a unanimous conclusion that the GFMD has an important role to play as a platform for pushing boundaries of what is possible and generating consensus around the ambitious outcomes for a global compact. This led to a decision to continue the mandate of the GFMD ad hoc Working Group on the 2030 Agenda and the GCM to lead GFMD efforts in preparing its contributions towards the formulation of such a global compact during the 2017-2018 Chairmanship.

As co-facilitators in drafting the Modalities Resolution, Switzerland and Mexico (represented by Mr. Pietro Mona and Ambassador Raúl Heredia, respectively) shared their outlook on the immediate next steps in the development of the GCM and on the possible entry points therein for the GFMD. Ambassador Heredia (Mexico) explained the 4-phase work plan in the Modalities resolution as outlined below:

  • Phase I - Consultations (April 2017- November 2017)
  • Phase II - Stocktaking November 2017- January 2018
  • Phase III - Intergovernmental negotiations (February 2018-July 2018)
  • Intergovernmental Conference for the adoption of the GCM

As for the potential entry points for the GFMD, Mr. Mona (Switzerland) pointed to three possibilities for GFMD contributions in terms of “substance, space and stakeholders”. On substance, GFMD could synthesize its wealth of knowledge in a coherent way for submission to the upcoming stock-taking exercise in November 2017. As a proven and effective space for dialogue, GFMD could generate a space for thematic dialogues that could contribute to furthering debate, reaching a common understanding and sharing best practices. Finally, while remaining as a state-led process, the GFMD could ensure the active participation of governments, civil society, business, international organizations; this multi-stakeholder approach will promote the development of a multi-stakeholder compact on migration.

Mr. Francois Fouinat , representing the SRSG, talked about the content of the Sutherland Report and its potential value for GFMD’s contribution to the GCM. He also informed the participants that the medical situation of SRSG Peter Sutherland still remained a matter of concern. This was followed by many expressions of appreciation and best wishes from the floor, all acknowledging the invaluable contributions of Mr. Sutherland that certainly helped to advance the global governance of migration.

GFMD Contribution to the Global Compact on Migration

Asked what role the GFMD should take in the GCM process based on the final draft of the Modalities Resolution, participants emphasized that GFMD should continue to serve as a thought leader and knowledge broker by providing a platform for informal and consensus-building dialogues among all concerned stakeholders. Representatives from governments, international organizations, civil society and business urged the GFMD to synthesize the outcomes and recommendations of the past ten years of GFMD as an input to the GCM. The policies, practices and programs that have been shared in the GFMD, including through the Platform for Partnerships, should form the basis of GFMD’s contribution, they said. They also expressed a strong support for the work of the ad hoc Working Group on the 2030 Agenda and GCM in leading GFMD thematic reflections.

In summarizing the GFMD Dialogue of 2 February, Co-Chair Morocco, represented by Mr. El Habib Nadir , thanked participants for their valuable inputs in this discussion. He urged participants to seize the unique opportunity presented by the GCM process in developing a framework for better governance of migration. He also paid tribute to the important contribution of SRSG Sutherland in leading both the GFMD and other related processes on international migration. In concluding, Mr. Nadir was confident that the knowledge that has been accumulated in past and upcoming GFMD meetings will allow GFMD to make an important contribution to the GCM process.