Mirela Shuteriqi, Thematic Advisor, Lausanne, Switzerland, Terre des hommes
IntroductionSince 2006, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) has provided an opportunity to discuss migration and development at the international level. Though the process remains state-led, it also gives an opportunity for civil society organisations (CSOs) to gather globally and discuss the subject for two days prior to the government program. Starting from 2010, CSOs and governments also exchanged together during a Common Space.In October this year, Turkey hosted the 8th GFMD and related Civil Society Days (CSDs). This year GFMD was particularly relevant to CSOs. On one side, the newly adopted 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda recognises the positive role of migration in development and gives new impetus to CSOs’ efforts. On the other hand, 2015 was another dangerous and deadly year for migrants moving across borders in search of safety, new opportunities, or a better life. Against this background, over 300 representatives of CSOs were invited to attend the GFMD CSD. They represented migrants’ associations and diaspora (95 delegates), human rights (85) and development (58) organisations, academia (37) and the private sector (7). All regions were represented, with 30 countries from Asia, 20 form Africa, 23 from Europe and 22 countries from the Americas.What did CSOs discuss in Istanbul?In line with the government discussion theme and concept paper, the CSD in Istanbul were organized around the theme of ‘Achieving Migration and Development Goals: Movement Together on Global Solutions and Local Action’. Under this theme, discussions were structured around four workshops on the following subjects: a)the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda; b)migrants in crisis; c) migrants’ empowerment and human development, and; d) labour mobility. Though many of the discussions by CSOs were similar to those in previous GFMD CSDs, a few new dynamics came out strongly.
Migration and Development and Swiss CSOs Swiss civil society is also getting better organised. Recently, a new collaborative platform for civil society organisations interested in migration and development was launched. This platform (mdplatform.ch) provides an excellent opportunity to jointly participate in and contribute to international policy dialog, and provides a bridge between the global and national levels. The platform coordination structure participated in the 2015 GFMD CSDs, together with the African Diaspora Council of Switzerland, UNIA Labour Union, Terre des Hommes and Studien- und Bildungszentrum für Migrationsfragen. In addition to contributing to international processes like the GFMD, the platform will invest in exchange and information sharing, capacity building of members and policy dialog on migration and development and other issues related to the 2030 SDGs with the Swiss Government.
Website of the Swiss Civil Society on Migration & Development: http://mdplatform.ch
Global Forum on Migration and Development – Civil Society http://gfmdcivilsociety.org and the Civil Society’s Chair Report of the 2015 GFMD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geS7fY9sHX4 The 5-year Action Plan for Collaborationhttp://hldcivilsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/0261-HDL_The-5-year-Action-Plan-GB-web2.pdfThe report on the 8th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) mandated by the mdplatform.ch to Terre des Hommes (see attachment): http://mdplatform.ch/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/mdp-report-GFMD-CSD-2015.pdf