Wednesday, 26 March 2014

On 11 March 2014, Ambassador Eva Åkerman Börje, representing GFMD 2013-2014 Chair-in-Office Sweden, convened the last round of preparatory meetings of the GFMD Steering Group (SG) and the Friends of the Forum (FOF) in the final stretch to the GFMD 2014 Forum Meeting to be held in Stockholm on 14-16 May 2014.

The SG meeting focused on three key issues -- enhancing the working methods of the Steering Group, the Long-term financing framework for the GFMD, and the Multi-Annual Work Program (MWP) which are aimed at promoting a more efficient, more durable and more sustainable process.

As in the past, the SG meeting also benefitted from the insights of the SRSG, Mr. Sutherland, who enjoined all SG member states to support ongoing initiatives to include migration in the Post-2015 Development agenda, and also to improve the overall perception of migrants and migration at all levels.

The 5th meeting of the Friends of the Forum (FOF) under the Swedish Chairmanship took place in the afternoon of same day, 11 March.

The last FOF meeting began with a discussion on the GFMD engagement with the private sector. A presentation was made by the Swedish Secretariat on the varied initiatives that were undertaken by the Swedish Chair to implement one of the GFMD assessment recommendations to engage the private sector as a separate and distinct stakeholder. These activities included brainstorming and in-depth research, a mapping study, and business roundtables in New York, Brussels and Geneva.

The Chair echoed the results of the SG meeting in the morning concerning the issues of enhancing the working methods of the Steering Group, the Long-term financing framework for the GFMD, and the Multi-Annual Work Program. Some delegates offered comments which mainly repeated the points that had been discussed at the SG meeting. The Chair invited all delegates to submit written comments until 25 March.

Moving on to agenda item on the Forum meeting, the Chair announced that Sweden has received very positive indication that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will be able to attend the opening ceremony on May 14. To allow more countries to participate, the registration will be extended until end March 2014. The Chair urged all Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Other Low Income Countries (OLICs) to register immediately and avail of the Chair’s limited financial assistance.

Mr John Bingham of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), convenor of the civil society process, presented the state of preparations for the GFMD 2014 Civil Society Days. In his presentation, Mr Bingham stated that the ICMC received 780 applications for the CS Days which will accommodate between 180-200 CS participants, plus around 100 Observers.  The International Steering Committee is now conducting a selection process on the basis of commitment, diversity of regions, sectors, gender and activity at international, regional, national and grassroots levels. Mr Bingham invited all governments to attend the CS Days, especially the plenary session on May 12.

Finally, there was a soft launch of the GFMD Platform for Partnerships (PfP) and the new GFMD Policy and Practice Database (PPD), created in order to improve the evidence base and share the delivery power of the GFMD process. The PPD provides a dynamic, solid and searchable tool that showcases the wide range of migration and development  practices shared throughout the GFMD since 2007.

GFMD 2013-2014 4th Thematic Meeting on “The Role of Business in International Migration”

On 12 March, the Swedish Chair co-convened with the Governments of Turkey and Canada the 4th thematic meeting on “The Role of Business in International Migration - Engaging the private sector as partners for positive development outcomes.” The meeting, which gathered around 130 delegates from governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector, explored areas of common interest for both governments and the private sector in the GFMD’s effort to improve its engagement  with business as a distinct and separate stakeholder. Beginning with a plenary session, the meeting featured Roundtable break-out sessions on 4 key sectors – extractives, financial services, ethical recruitment and emerging needs. After very insightful and friendly exchanges, participants reconvened in plenary to pull together the outcomes of the discussions. 

 See Documents Library for more information about these meetings.