Owing to its state-led nature, the primary purpose of the Forum is to facilitate a constructive dialogue among governments. However, it also benefits from the expertise and inputs of international organizations and civil society (together referred to as non-governmental partners).

Since 2007, representatives of some 160 Member-States and UN Observers, as well as over 30 international organizations, have participated in the annual government meetings of the GFMD; while between 200 to 500 various actors have participated in the Civil Society Days. The civil society process runs parallel with the government process. Each year, Civil Society Days (CSD) are held before the final GFMD meeting of governments. The results of the CSD are presented at the start of the government meeting in order to feed into the government debates. Since 2010, a “common space” between governments and civil society has been organized to promote a more effective interaction and cross-fertilization of knowledge and action between the governments and civil society.

International organizations, especially the members of the Global Migration Group (GMG), provide relevant technical support to the GFMD Chair-in-Office in preparing the substantive work program of the annual GFMD, and in organizing roundtables or thematic meetings.

See: Link with the Civil Society