Swedish GFMD 2013-2014 Concept Paper Endorsed by the GFMD Steering Group and Friends of the Forum

Geneva – 30 May 2013. At the 2nd meeting this year of the GFMD Steering Group held in the morning of 21 May,  Amb. Åkerman Börje consulted with over 50 delegates from 26 Steering Group member countries on strategic and policy matters. The Chair presented an updated GFMD Budget for 2013-2014, highlighting a 3% overall reduction in costs. She expressed gratitude to governments that have offered pledges and new contributions to the process, as well as those who agreed to realign left-over balances from the GFMD 2012 budget.  She challenged Steering Group members to give strategic inputs on the proposed long-term financing framework in order to create a more durable forum. All steering group members welcomed the discussion on this issue and there was a very rich debate which will be included as the work with a more predictable financing framework continues. In this regard, Mr. Peter Sutherland, UNSG Special Representative for Migration and Development, reiterated the importance of predictability and financial security to sustain the process.

The issue of ensuring efficiency, flexibility and transparency in the Steering Group working methods was discussed.  It was a very rich discussion where a majority of the countries were of the view that the number of members should be reduced or at least not increased. Governments also asked for a clearer document indicating the expectations of steering group members. The chair will continue to work on the issue of improving the efficiency of the bodies of the Forum.

The 2nd meeting of the Friends of the Forum took place in the afternoon of 21 May, attended by 110 delegates from 70 countries and 16 observer agencies.  Amb Åkerman Börje was joined at the podium by Ms. Esen Altug (representing incoming GFMD Chair Turkey), and  as Mr Peter Sutherland.

In his update on the UN High-Level Dialogue (HLD) preparations, Mr. Peter Sutherland, highlighted the leadership role Geneva has taken in the international migration debate.  He expressed the hope that the HLD would result in migration featuring prominently in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, greater international cooperation on migration-related issues, the creation of guiding principles for tackling migrants in acute crises, and deeper reflections on GFMD successes to further cement its future.

The final GFMD 2013-2014 Concept Paper [ ES | FR ] with the overarching theme, “Unlocking the Potential of Migration for Inclusive Development,” was endorsed by the Friends of the Forum. Participants applauded the Swedish Chair for an excellent concept paper which aims to promote a more development-oriented, more dynamic and more durable GFMD process. The concept paper will serve as the blueprint for the work of the GFMD in 2013-2014 under the Swedish Chairmanship, guided by the recommendations of the GFMD assessment in 2011 and 2012.

To pave the way forward, the Chair presented the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Government Teams and the Expert Network that will spearhead the substantive preparations for the final GFMD meeting in Stockholm in May 2014 was discussed at the meeting. The Chair also presented the updated 2013-2014 GFMD Budget, the discussion paper on the long-term financing framework, and the TOR for the GFMD Platform for Partnerships and Policy & Practice Database.

In her concluding remarks, Amb Åkerman Börje gave information that the GFMD Thematic Recollection had been submitted to the Office of the UN Secretary General.  She shared about the initiatives currently underway to promote the inclusion of migration in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. She urged focal points to complete the upcoming GFMD Survey on Roundtable Themes as it will provide an overview of government policies and practices for use in the background papers and the Policy Practice Database.  She gave a brief synopsis of the UAE Labour Mobility conference held in Abu Dhabi on May 14-15. Finally, she invited all delegates to attend the GFMD scheduled Thematic Meeting the next day (22 May) on “Operationalizing Mainstreaming of Migration in Development Policy and Integrating Migration in the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda,” followed by a side event sponsored by the Government of Switzerland.