Now in its ninth year, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is the largest and most comprehensive global platform for dialogue and cooperation on international migration and development. Following the 2006 UNGA High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (HLD) the GFMD has opened up a space for informal and voluntary dialogue among countries on current and emerging migration and development issues. Over time, its members have sought to find innovative ways of promoting a practice-related and action-oriented process.
From Brussels (2007) to Manila (2008), Athens (2009) and Puerto Vallarta (2010), more than 150 governments have taken part in the annual meetings of the GFMD, which saw Roundtable discussions around central themes proposed by the host governments. Underpinning these annual themes is the common understanding that migration is a constant phenomenon, and that through dialogue and partnerships, governments and other stakeholders can help and learn from each other in order to maximize migration’s developmental benefits while minimizing its negative impacts.
Each year, the GFMD builds upon the achievements of the previous year and introduces new means of promoting more effective dialogue and partnership between and among governments, international organizations, the civil society, and other non-governmental actors.
Thematic ad hoc Working Groups (one on Protecting and Empowering Migrants and another on Policy Coherence, Data and Research) were set up to help focus the annual GFMD agenda and assure continuity between GFMD meetings by prioritizing GFMD outcomes and fostering their implementation. The Platform for Partnerships was recently launched to serve as an online and offline tool for exchanging good practices and promoting calls for partnerships in implementing GFMD outcomes and recommendations. Innovative ways of holding roundtable discussions and dialogue between the governments and the civil society (e.g., through a common space) are also constantly being sought.
To respond to the dynamic challenges of international migration and its inter-linkages with development and other related fields, the GFMD continues to be a living process – searching for better solutions to common challenges, promoting good practices, capacity-building and knowledge, and urging governments and other stakeholders to forge partnerships and cooperation in the fields of migration and development.