Turkey GFMD Chair addresses the Opening Of 2015 Civil Society Days

Turkey GFMD Chair addresses the Opening  Of 2015 Civil Society Days

12 October 2015 -- On behalf of the Turkish Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) 2014-2015, Ms. Esen Altuğ, Deputy Director-General for Migration, Asylum and Visa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed the opening of the 2015 Civil Society Days held in Istanbul, which was attended by around 300 participants representing different sectors of civil society from all regions of the world.

Since 2007, the Civil Society Days have preceded the GFMD Government Meeting, paving the way for a purposeful interaction between civil society organizations and governments. The outcomes and recommendations of the 2015 Civil Society Days will be delivered during the opening ceremony of the Government Meeting on 14 October.

As Ms. Altuğ explained, “the Civil Society has been a vital partner of governments and international organizations in the Global Forum process since its creation in 2007.” Dedicated Civil Society Days have become an integral component of the Global Forum Summit meetings, to provide civil society actors their own space for dialogue and to build partnerships around migration and development issues.

In affirming the crucial role that civil society plays in the overall migration and development dialogue and cooperation, Ms Altuğ stressed that the Turkish Chair chose the overarching theme “Strengthening Partnerships: Human Mobility for Sustainable Development” to signal the conviction that governments are not able to manage migration effectively without the collaboration of other stakeholders, particularly the civil society, international organizations and migrants themselves.

            “It’s clear that migrants need more than an emergency response today, they also need a prospect for the future, a future in which their rights are respected and in which they are able both to benefit from and contribute to development.” She urged all participants to “work together to address the link between migration and development to make sure that migrants are fully integrated in the plans for the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.”


Turkish GFMD Chair’s key objectives

Ms. Altuğ highlighted the Turkish GFMD Chair’s three main M&D objectives: to enhance the focus of migration management, to promote the universal recognition of the development impact of migration in public policies, and to engage relevant stakeholders in strengthening the linkages between migration and development.  During her GFMD Chairmanship, Turkey decided to shine the spotlight on the issue of forced migration to try to explore development-oriented solutions to the plight of forcibly displaced persons.


GFMD 2015 Civil Society Days

The 2015 GFMD Civil Society Days was opened by Mr. Ignacio Packer, Secretary General of Terre Des Hommes, who enjoined all delegates to follow the “Ubuntu” philosophy that espouses a belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.

The rest of the inaugural panel was composed by Gülay Toksöz an academic representing the local organizing Committee of Turkey and Fatumo Farah, Co-Chair of this year’s CSD’s and director and founder of HIRDA, a diaspora organization based in the Netherlands. A refugee herself, Ms. Farah recalled her experiences and mentioned that the current crisis and the issues faced in previous decades are part of a continuous, endemic issue. During her intervention, Ms. Toksöz spoke of the Turkish people’s experience with inequality and discrimination as a former migrant-sending country and urged the attendees to further analyze the root causes of migration, namely poverty and lack of decent work.

The 2015 GFMD Civil Society Days and related activities were organized by the International Catholic Migration Committee (ICMC), in cooperation with the International Steering Committee.

For more information about the GFMD 2015 Civil Society Days, go to http://gfmdcivilsociety.org/