The GFMD and the Global Compact on Migration
Following the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, which recognized the need to strengthen international cooperation on migration, the United Nations General Assembly committed to negotiate a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM). The GCM, adopted and formally endorsed in December 2018, is the first ever inter-governmentally negotiated agreement under the auspices of the UN to comprehensively cover all aspects of international migration. The Compact is a significant opportunity to improve international governance on migration, address today’s migration challenges and strengthen the contribution of migrants to sustainable development. The work of the GFMD was a significant factor which allowed states to work towards consensus on the GCM, and the GCM is now a relevant influence on the work of the GFMD going forward.
GFMD Initiatives in the lead up to the GCM
GFMD Dialogues on the GCM
· 1st Dialogue on the GCM (14 Nov 2016, New York)
GFMD Thematic Workshops
· Workshop on Climate Change & Human Mobility (24 May 2017, Rabat)
10th GFMD Summit in Berlin (28-30 June 2017, Berlin)
· Roundtables framed according to the migration-related SDGs and GCM themes
Ad hoc Working Group on the 2030 Agenda and the GCM
· Led the drafting process of the GFMD Contribution to the GCM
GFMD Participation in the GCM Preparatory Process
· GCM Informal Thematic Consultations
GFMD 2017-2018 Special Meeting on the GCM with Co-Facilitators and SRSG (19 June 2018, Geneva)
11th GFMD Summit in Marrakesh (5-7 Dec 2018, Marrakesh
· Overarching focus on preparing for GCM implementation, part of the Marrakesh ‘Migration Week’ which included adoption of the GCM
The GFMD’s contribution to the elaboration of the GCM
In the Modalities Resolution of the GCM, the GFMD was recognized as an important platform to contribute to the preparatory process and intergovernmental negotiations of the GCM. In this context, both the GFMD 2016 Bangladesh Chairmanship and the 2017-2018 Germany-Morocco Co-Chairmanship saw a focus on working towards developing ideas and consensus to lead towards the creation of the Compact, building on this through a variety of dialogues, thematic workshops, and roundtables.
At the GCM Stocktaking Meeting in Mexico in December 2017, the Co-Chairs presented the GFMD Thematic Recollection (2007-2017) – the GFMD’s final contribution to the GCM, consolidating 10 years of GFMD discussions and cooperation around migration and development. In this way, the GFMD served as one of the key venues in which professional expertise, as well as political goodwill, was developed in the process leading up to the Compact.
The GFMD and the GCM going forward
“We invite the Global Forum on Migration and Development to provide a space for annual informal exchange on the implementation of the Global Compact, and report the findings, best practices and innovative approaches to the International Migration Review Forum.”
“Further recognizing the important role of State-led processes and platforms at global and regional levels in advancing the international dialogue on migration, we invite the Global Forum on Migration and Development… to provide platforms to exchange experiences on the implementation of the Global Compact, share good practices on policies and cooperation, promote innovative approaches, and foster multi-stakeholder partnerships around specific policy issues.”
The GCM explicitly acknowledges the GFMD (in Operative Paragraph 3) as a platform that paved the way for the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, through which Member States committed to elaborate a Global Compact for Refugees and to adopt a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The intergovernmentally negotiated and agreed outcome of the GCM foresees the role of the GFMD as a platform to exchange experiences on the implementation of the GCM, share good policies on practices and cooperation, promote innovative approaches, and foster multi-stakeholder partnerships around specific policy issues (OP 47). It also invites the GFMD to provide a space for annual informal exchange on the implementation of the Compact, and report findings, best practices and innovative approaches to the International Migration Review Forum (OP 51). In addition, the GFMD Platform for Partnerships (PfP) is acknowledged as a building block of the global knowledge platform envisioned as one of the three elements of the proposed UN capacity-building mechanism (CBM). The CBM is designed to support GCM implementation by strengthening capacities and fostering multi-partner cooperation (OP 43).
The GFMD’s raison d’etre in the era of GCM implementation
In 2018, the GFMD Ten-Year Review, which sets out Member States’ recommendations and ambitions for the future of the Forum, noted that the GFMD must consider its role with respect to the GCM going forward and continuously revisit how best it can position itself in the era of GCM implementation. This report mentions, for instance, that “the GFMD has the opportunity to become a motor for GCM implementation, follow-up and review, by playing a catalytic role in encouraging States and other stakeholders to take action, share their progress (as well as failures), and thereby to learn from and motivate each other.” Member States and stakeholders also envision the GFMD as an informal space with “an expanded role in facilitating the formation of (multi-stakeholder) partnerships to support GCM implementation; a new role, emerging from the GCM, as a platform for reviewing progress in GCM implementation; and a role as a central hub for the exchange of data and knowledge and for supporting learning and capacity development.”
More importantly, this report affirms GFMD’s raison d’etre beyond the GCM – a view that was repeatedly echoed during the Eleventh GFMD Summit in Marrakesh in 2018. The GFMD community, while generally expressing enthusiasm for being able to use the GFMD as a forum to discuss the GCM and facilitate its implementation, reiterated that the core goals and blueprint of the GFMD will remain unchanged in the era of GCM implementation – namely, building knowledge, brokering partnerships and fostering networking on migration and development.
Going forward, the GFMD is called upon to work closely with the UN Migration Network, which was established in 2019 in order to provide a UN system-wide coherent approach to migration, in order to best fulfill its goals in supporting the implementation of the GCM.