The 2008 Philippines Chairmanship

In line with the September 2006 HLD and the GFMD Operating Modalities endorsed in Brussels, the Manila GFMD aimed to advance understanding and cooperation on the mutually reinforcing relationship between migration and development and to foster practical and action-oriented outcomes.

The GFMD 2008 overarching theme “Protecting and Empowering Migrants for Development” was intended to highlight the human face of migration in a debate that often only addressed the rational economic implications of migration for development.

Throughout the preparatory process for the Manila Summit, the Chair consulted closely with Mr. Peter Sutherland, United Nations Secretary-General Special Representative for International Migration and Development. Mr. Sutherland also participated significantly in the Manila Summit meeting.

The key outcomes of the 2008 Chairmanship were:

  • Delegates agreed that by the time of the Manila meeting, the GFMD had engendered a change of perception about migration and development and sparked a broader recognition of the benefits migration can bring.
  • Governments embarking on a comprehensive review of their migration governance frameworks were more ready to consider both the needs of origin and host countries in their policy planning.
  • Governments identified that they participated in the Forum in a spirit of “shared responsibility and partnership”.
  • Recommendations were made for the establishment of two ad hoc working groups – one on migrant rights and another on data, research and policy coherence - a number of studies, compendia of good practices, pilot programs, and policy assessments.
  • It was decided to establish a light Support Unit to provide administrative and logistical support to future GFMD Chairs.

Second Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development

27-30 October 2008, Manila, Philippines

The second GFMD Summit meeting, hosted in Manila in October 2008, marked another major achievement in the international debate on migration and development. It was the first truly global meeting on migration and development in the Philippines and for Asia. It attracted the participation of more than 1130 delegates, representing some 163 UN Member States and Observers, 33 international organizations and 220 Civil Society participants. 

The Civil Society Days also attracted the participation of 220 delegates from non-state organizations and bodies. The two-day meeting was organized by the Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI), an organization with 13 years extensive and direct experience in development-related projects involving Filipino migrants and diaspora.

During the special session on the Future of the Forum, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Migration and Development, Mr. Peter Sutherland, confirmed that the GFMD had established itself as a very useful tool to promote effective dialogue and exchange between government policy-makers in a constructive atmosphere. Members also appreciated the GFMD as having had a real impact at the national level by generating greater policy coherence, including through the GFMD national focal points.

The priorities of the Philippine Chair formed the basis of the discussions in Roundtable 1 on Protecting and Empowering migrants, as well as in Roundtable 2 on Balancing Facilitation and Control of Migration. The third thematic Roundtable on Policy and Institutional Coherence and Partnerships focused on the data, research methodologies and policy and institutional coherence needed to provide the underpinnings of Roundtables 1 and 2.