The 2012 Mauritius Chairmanship
With the central theme, “Enhancing the Human Development of Migrants and their Contribution to the Development of Communities and States,” the GFMD 2012 Mauritius Chairmanship pursued the following concrete objectives:
- Placing greater emphasis on the development dimensions of the Forum.
- Consolidating the consultation process with civil society and international organizations, and engaging the private sector and diaspora more closely in the activities and outcomes of the Forum.
- Producing a common vision for the future of the Forum, through the completion of the second phase of the two-year internal assessment of the GFMD.
- Bringing the Forum to Africa and reinforcing Africa’s perspectives on the development dimension of migration.
Development was a central focus for the GFMD 2012, symbolically represented as the Forum was for the first time chaired by a national development agency (the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of Mauritius). The Mauritian GFMD Chair challenged Forum participants to go beyond dialogue to find some workable plans to improve the situation of migrants, their families and communities and maintain a focus on concrete and workable policies and programs.
In order to fulfil the goal of bringing the Forum to Africa, Mauritius initiated new discussions with interested African governments, other African actors and the EU, on facilitating trans-border labour mobility and skills development in Africa to stimulate jobs-based growth across the continent.
In brief, the GFMD 2012 Mauritius Chairmanship both pushed the boundaries of the forum a little further and opened up the Forum to be more inclusive, transparent, development-focused and outcome-oriented.
Sixth Summit Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development
19-22 November 2012, Port Louis, Mauritius
Over 500 delegates, including Ministers and Vice-Ministers, from 129 States participated in the Forum. Of the 76 ACP countries, 65 attended the GFMD Summit in Port Louis, while out of the 54 African Union members, 51 attended. These numbers represented a record participation of African and ACP countries in GFMD history, which signaled strong support for Mauritius – the first African GFMD Chair.
The GFMD 2012 Common Space, organised under the overarching theme, Migration and Development: Common Ground and Partnerships in Action, introduced a different and more interactive format, with more break-out sessions and the use of social media in one of the Common Space panels. The Common Space highlighted the outcomes of the GFMD 2012 Civil Society Days (CSD), organized ahead of the Government Meeting on 19-20 November 2012. Civil society dialogue also benefited from joint brainstorming at various preparatory events prior to the Summit, organised as a result of Mauritius’ proactive engagement with civil society members.
In recognition of the linkage between human development and migrant rights, the protection of migrants featured prominently in two of the three GFMD 2012 Roundtables (RT) themes for the year:
- RT 1 - Circulating Labour for Inclusive Development.
- RT 2 - Factoring Migration into Development Planning.
- RT 3 - Managing Migration and Migrant Protection for Human Development Outcomes.