8th GFMD in Turkey

8th GFMD in Turkey

Pietro Mona, Deputy Head, Global Program Migration & Development, SDC Bern

What started small in 2007 with the first Global Forum on Migration and Development in Brussels has now reached a convincing level of maturity. Once again more than 150 governments and a record number of civil society participants gathered in Istanbul for dialogue on migration and development. This year’s GFMD was marked by the global refugee situation, but also by the newly adopted 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.


This year’s GFMD, which took place under the chairmanship of Turkey, a country that is currently the largest refugee hosting country with more than 2 million Syrian refugees, coincided with an unprecedented alignment of constellations in the global governance of migration that led to interesting discussions.
The Istanbul meeting was marked by the challenges we are facing globally.  This situation is not so much a “crisis of refugees or of migrants”, as a crisis of global governance which requires mobilisation of political will, viable forward-looking solutions and the courage to re-think the global migration governance architecture. In this context, the UN High-Commissioner for Refugees eloquently linked two topics that had long been addressed separately: forced displacement and migration, stating that “Only in a world where migration can be regular and can take place in a human rights framework, only in a world like that can refugee protection truly be possible.” This confirmed the necessity for the GFMD to discuss issues relating to forced migration.


Switzerland was again very present throughout the GFMD and was particularly focused on :

  1. Private sector engagement, organizing a thematic meeting in May and a special lunch session for heads of delegation, selected business leaders and high-level representatives of IOs and NGOs during the GFMD summit meeting. Switzerland was the driving force that allowed governments to endorse the new GFMD Business Mechanisms to systematically engage business in the discussions on migration.
  2. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, proposing an ad hoc working group under the GFMD Chairmanship of Bangladesh with the mandate to clarify the role of the GFMD in the follow-up and review process on migration-related targets and indicators of the Agenda.
  3. Discussions on forced migration, participating as a panellist in the roundtable that, for the first time in the context of the GFMD, addressed the topic of forced migration and allowed Switzerland to present the results of the Nansen Initiative.

Bangladesh will take over the Chairmanship in 2016 and Morocco and Germany in 2017 and 2018. With 2016 being the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, much attention will be given to Bangladesh and their ability to steer the GFMD process, including follow-up and review of the Agenda. Having worked very closely with Bangladesh these past years on migration, we are very confident that their chairmanship will positively influence the way forward. We are also positive about the fact that Bangladesh wants to give importance to Civil Society in the coming year, while also fully supporting private sector engagement.


Further information at www.gfmd.org


Photo: www.gfmd.org