Civil Society delegates gathering in Stockholm for this week’s Global Forum on Migration and Development

Civil Society delegates gathering in Stockholm for this week’s

Global Forum on Migration and Development

10 May 2014, Stockholm – Civil Society delegates have begun to arrive in Stockholm for the 2014 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), being hosted and chaired this year by the government of Sweden. The GFMD takes places from 12 – 16 May in the Münchenbryggeriet Conference Center. The Forum consists of two days of civil society meetings (12 – 13 May) followed by a full afternoon of shared civil society-government Common Space (14 May), leading to the two final days of the week for government meetings (15 – 16 May). A record number of 250 representatives of civil society organizations worldwide will participate as delegates in this year’s civil society days, nearly double the number at the preceding Global Forum meeting in 2012.

Snapshot: what’s new about the GFMD Civil Society Days 2014

  • A record number of applications from civil society organizations (800)
  • A record number of delegates selected to participate (250)
  • Civil society Chair and Co-chair and their organizations demonstrating the convergence of migrant rights and diaspora and development agenda’s, and imperative and benefits of engaging with local authorities and private sector
  • Launch of the civil society “MADE” (Migration And Development) network, with regional organizing in Africa, Asia and Latin America-the Caribbean, and global thematic focus on labour mobility and recruitment, global governance of migration and development, and diaspora, migrants and development (the MADE website is under construction, click here for the temporary website).
  • Common space increased with 25% time, with civil society moderating as well as presenting and participating
  • New donors: the European Union, Australia and Germany.

Civil Society Days ready for lift off

Under the leadership of its GFMD 2014 Chair Michele LeVoy and Co-chair Gibril Faal (see biographies here) civil society kicks off the week of meetings with its two “Civil Society Days”. Organizing its own agenda as in the past three years, civil society emphasizes: the human being at the centre of migration; respect for his or her dignity and rights; decent work and social protection for migrant workers and their families; fair, orderly and regular migration as an alternative to abuse of migrants in transit and in the workplace; and the empowerment of migrants and diaspora as members and actors of societies in countries of destination and origin.

This year’s Civil Society Programme focuses on “Shaping Migration and Development Goals: global movement, change on the ground”. The theme reflects civil society’s priority for the 2014 GFMD to translate the outcomes of last year’s High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, and civil society’s 5-year 8-point action plan into concrete goals, targets and indicators, aiming very much for local implementation, practices and change. Special focuses in civil society’s programme this year are:

  • Migrants and migration in the new post 2015 development agenda when the current Millennium Development Goals expire (MDGs);
  • Reform of migrant recruitment practices;
  • Strengthening practical cooperation in responses to migrants in crisis, in transit and at borders;
  • Migrant children in detention; and
  • Migrant and diaspora’s as actors and advocates in development and job creation.

The Civil Society Days programme as well as a short background note are available here.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressing civil society and governments of 150 countries

Sending a signal of the importance of migrants and migration to human development and to the world, the UN Secretary-General will address all government, civil society, international agencies and other guests on the opening ceremony Wednesday 14 May. He will be welcomed by Crown Princess Victoria and the Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden. On the podium with the UN Secretary-General, Civil society Chair Michele LeVoy, director of the global network PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) will present the key messages and recommendations of the Civil Society Days to the full assembly.

After the opening ceremony, some 500 senior migration and development leaders from 150 countries and all of the civil society delegates will meet together for 5 hours in “Common Space”. The Common Space will focus in break-out sessions on partnerships around decent labour migration and decent employment; empowering migrants and communities for social inclusion; and national and post-2015 development agenda’s.

For the full Common Space agenda, and government programme click here.

Representatives of UN and other international and regional institutions will also participate in the GFMD, including the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Migration, Sir. Peter Sutherland and the Director-Generals of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), William Lacy Swing, and the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder.

Who are the Civil Society Delegates to the GFMD?

Selected by an international steering committee out of 800 applications, the almost 250 civil society delegates come from every region of the world. They represent non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in human rights and development, migrant and diaspora associations, trade unions and workers organizations, academia and the private sector. Delegates include practitioners and advocates working at all levels: international, regional, national and grass roots. Many represent networks of organizations active on the ground, partnering every day with local and national actors, including city governments, health services, community development agencies and employers.

The provisional list of participants to the 2014 GFMD Civil Society Days can be downloaded here. 

Here are some numbers on registered participants:
363 participants in total
242 civil society delegates:

  • 29 from Africa, 62 from Americas, 32 from Asia Pacific, 87 from Europe (plus 21 from Sweden), 10 from the Middle East, 1 from Australia
  • 127 female, 115 male
  • 106 migrants themselves, provisional count 30 more diaspora
  • 60 delegates also speakers in the Civil Society Days programme
38 observers from regional and international organizations
34 government representatives of 18 countries
14 special guests
5 media representatives
80 civil society delegates (1/3rd of the total) provided with funding assistance

Separately organized but linked movements: one civil society

The Peoples’ Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights. Often organized over the years in parallel to the Civil Society Days of the Global Forum, the PGA takes place this year on the FridaySaturday andSunday immediately preceding the Global Forum. A substantial number of PGA participants, including organizers and speakers, are also delegates to the Civil Society Days, linking the two processes and civil society strategies closely. For further information click here.

National civil society organizing ahead of the Forum. As in prior years, civil society organizations around the world organized consultations among themselves and with national governments to prepare ahead of the Global Forum. In Sweden for example, a group of civil society organizations led by Caritas Sweden together with the Swedish Lutheran Church, the Swedish Red Cross, the TCO trade union and Concord-Sweden organized three consultations focused on diaspora entrepreneurship, labour mobility and rights, sustainable development. Notable among participants in these meetings of Swedish civil society were ministers and other senior government officials, representatives of the private sector and trade unions, and youth leaders.

Live Streaming

The plenary sessions of the GFMD Civil Society Days will be streamed live through Youtube. The links to the live stream will be announced before the start of the conference on this webpage: GFMD Civil Society Days information

Organizers and donors of the 2014 GFMD Civil Society Days

The civil society activities of the GFMD are being organized by the GFMD Civil Society Coordinating Office, under the auspices of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) in partnership with an international steering committee, and a diversity of NGOs, labour organizations, migrants, and migrant associations, members of the academic community, and the private sector. Principal funding and resources for the 2014 GFMD Civil Society organizing are provided by the governments of Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden, the European Commission, the Bancomer Foundation, and the International Catholic Migration Commission.

ICMC’s Civil Society Coordinating Office
Global Forum on Migration and Development



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