GFMD holds its Sixth 2017-2018 Preparatory Meetings

4 May 2018, Geneva –The Moroccan and German GFMD Co-Chairs convened the sixth GFMD preparatory meetings and second Roundtable (RT) consultations on May 2 and 4, respectively, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The meetings of the Troika, Steering Group and the Friends of the Forum on May 2 provided an opportunity to inform the Geneva community about the current state of the inter-governmental negotiations on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), while the second GFMD 2018 RT consultations on May 4 offered a space for RT members to agree on the structure and content of the background paper.


2 May 2018 – Preparatory Meetings of the GFMD Troika, Steering Group (SG) and the Friends of the Forum (FOF)


Mr. El Habib Nadir, GFMD Moroccan Co-Chair and Mr. Sönke Lorenz, representative of the German Co-Chair, led the successive discussions of the GFMD Troika, the Steering Group and the Friends of the Forum on May 2.

A common objective of the meetings was to discuss the progress made since the last preparatory meetings in February and to introduce the forthcoming activities of the GFMD in 2018. A special focus was on the state of play of the GCM inter-governmental negotiations, the fourth round of which was scheduled on 14-18 May in New York. Mr. Nadir particularly expressed his appreciation for the role ascribed to the GFMD in the latest draft, especially the invitation for the GFMD to be involved in the implementation, follow-up and review of the Global Compact.

In both SG and FOF meetings, the Co-Chairs also reported on the highlights and outcomes of recent GFMD activities, which related both to the GCM Process and the 2030 Agenda. In particular the conclusions of the Skhirat Thematic Workshop on “Migration for Development: a roadmap to achieving the SDGs” were shared with the audience, as well as the main conclusions of the “GFMD Recommendations to the 2018 HLPF” - a report submitted to the President of the ECOSOC, which constitutes the GFMD’s substantive contribution to the 2018 High level Political Forum.

Two more thematic workshops – on Labour Migration and Skills (4 May, Geneva) and on Children and Youth on the Move (21-22 June, Agadir), a Special Meeting with the GCM Co-Facilitators  (19 June, Geneva), and a GFMD side event (13 July, New York) are upcoming, to be followed by the last round of GFMD preparatory meetings, a GFMD Dialogue on the GCM implementation, and the final RT consultations on 3, 4 and 5 September, respectively, in Geneva.

The Co-Chairs further signaled the launch of the GFMD ten-year review to help inform the Future of the Forum session at the Eleventh Summit in Marrakesh. Representing the group of experts mandated to lead this exercise, Dr. Steffen Angenendt explained that the review aims to analyze and evaluate the GFMD’s contribution to the global dialogue on migration and development. For this purpose, a questionnaire will be sent to Member States in order to get their insights on the GFMD’s added value and on future perspectives. In addition, the GFMD would consult with its key partners – the Global Migration Group (GMG), the civil society and the private sector.

Each Roundtable Co-chairs also gave an update to the Steering Group and the Friends of the Forum on the status of preparation of their respective RTs (see more below). Finally, the Moroccan Co-Chair presented some initial organizational aspects regarding the Eleventh GFMD Summit in Marrakesh (5 to 7 December), which will kick off the Migration Week (5 to 11 December) that culminates in the inter-governmental conference (10-11 December) on the adoption of the Global Compact.

Finally, brief discussions during the meetings also covered the 2018 budget, the respective work stream and budgets of the GFMD Civil Society and the GFMD Business Mechanism, and recent developments in the ad hoc Working Group on Communications.


4 May 2018 – Second Government-led GFMD 2018 Roundtable Team Consultations


Six thematic RT consultations were held on Friday, May 4, around the GFMD Co-Chair’s thematic priorities for 2018. Around 55 governments and 17 organizations took part in the second RT consultations round led by respective RT Co-Chairs. The discussions focused on the draft background papers and possible format of the RT session in Marrakesh, drawing comments and inputs from RT team members, and agreeing on next preparatory steps.

Below provides a snapshot of RT session key elements.

  • Roundtable 1.1 "Harnessing migrants' existing capital to build resilience"
    Roundtable Co-Chairs Canada – who recently joined - and UAE explained that migrants represent an important source of human, social, cultural and economic capitals, allowing them to become net contributors to host society. The background paper will therefore focus on how to harness the existing and acquired capital and empower migrants, whilst identifying potential vulnerabilities and potential risks migrants may face. Finally, the Co-Chairs invited for any interested member state to come forward as rapporteur.
  • Roundtable 1.2 "Migrants' engagements with public services: from basic access to co-production"
    With its Co-Chairs Ethiopia and Spain, the discussion in this roundtable will focus around the idea that migration is an urban phenomenon and that flows of migrants have an impact on the delivery of public service. Its objective is therefore to change the current scenario, in which migrants are seen primarily as service receivers. UNDP, who is leading the drafting process, provided a more-in-depth exploration of the background paper, looking at the idea of migrant’s potential as co-producers, and addressing structural challenges for migrants to access public service, such as health and education
  • Roundtable 2.1 "South-South mobility: trends, patterns and transferable learning"
    Co-Chaired by Ecuador and Eritrea, the roundtable will capture regional dynamics, other South-South corridors and transit situations, and will underline the positive factors of South-South migration (i.e. integration of returnee migrations, valorization of skills and employability). The lively discussions during the consultation expressed the need to reflect issues of gender and security, seasonal and temporary migration, employability issue and the inclusion of the private sector, as well as the need for capacity building to harmonize legislation at the regional level.
  • Roundtable 2.2 "Regional mobility and policy coherence to support development"
    The Co-Chairs Egypt, Philippines and Zambia explained that the RT will attempt to clarify the definition of regional migration and mobility as well as to look at different forms and scope of cooperation with a regional focus to address policy coherence and activities. ICMPD, the initial drafter of the paper, briefly introduced the outline, which provides the global context and questions to guide the discussions, as well as the basis of an improved evidence-based in the thematic area covered.
  • Roundtable 3.1 "Aligning governance with contemporary drivers of migration"
    Zimbabwe who joined the RT as Co-Chair, together with Bangladesh recognized the good starting point of juxtaposing governance with contemporary drivers of migration and suggested to embed the discussion in the overall context of the GCM. After a presentation of the outline given by IOM, the consultation offered active discussions around the mention of internal migration, on reducing forced migration, conflict, and refugees; for drafter to further define global governance framework. Team members also recognized the multi-causality of drivers and the wealth of knowledge and information on the issue drivers, in past and current GFMD and GCM discussions.
  • Roundtable 3.2 "Beyond remittances: enhancing the transnational civic engagement of diaspora and migrants "
    Mexico highlighted the priorities included in the background paper, drafted by IFAD. The paper will look at the scope of migrant contributions – both economic and social - to countries of origin (i.e. remittances, nostalgic trade, skills acquisition, and knowledge transfer) and ways to support and enhance these contributions. The discussions also touched upon the lack of qualitative aspect to better understand the impact and other challenges, including the communication gaps between diaspora and governments and points of friction with non-migrant communities. Finally, the Mexican Co-Chair invited Member States to voluntarily come forward as rapporteur.