The GFMD and the Global Compact on Migration

GCM Logo Following the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, which recognized the need to strengthen international cooperation on migration, the United Nations General Assembly committed to negotiate a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM). The GCM, adopted and formally endorsed in December 2018 by over 160 UN Member States, is the first ever inter-governmentally negotiated agreement under the auspices of the UN to comprehensively cover all aspects of international migration. The Compact is a significant opportunity to improve international governance on migration, address today’s migration challenges and strengthen the contribution of migrants to sustainable development. The work of the GFMD was a significant factor that allowed Member States to work towards building consensus on the GCM. In recognition of GFMD's vital contribution, the GCM invites the GFMD to offer its space to support the implementation, follow up and review of the GCM.

GFMD Initiatives in the lead up to the GCM

GFMD Dialogues on the GCM

· 1st Dialogue on the GCM (14 Nov 2016, New York)
· 2nd Dialogue on the GCM (2 Feb 2017, Geneva)
· 3rd Dialogue on the GCM (6 April 2017, Geneva)
    · GFMD Dialogue on the GCM Implementation (4 Sept, 2018)

GFMD Thematic Workshops

· Workshop on Climate Change & Human Mobility (24 May 2017, Rabat)
· Thematic Workshop on the GFMD contribution to the GCM (6 Sept 2017, Vienna)
· Stocktaking Workshop on GCM (19 Sept 2017, Vienna)
· Workshop on Children and Youth on the Move: Implementing Sustainable Solutions (21-22 June 2018, Agadir)
· Workshop on Labor Migration and Skills (3 May 2018, Geneva)

10th GFMD Summit in Berlin (28-30 June 2017, Berlin)

· Roundtables framed according to the migration-related SDGs and GCM themes
· GCM Rapporteurs evaluated the debates to draw inputs for the GFMD’s contribution to the GCM

Ad hoc Working Group on the 2030 Agenda and the GCM

· Led the drafting process of the GFMD Contribution to the GCM

GFMD Participation in the GCM Preparatory Process

· GCM Informal Thematic Consultations
· Multi-stakeholder Hearings
· GCM Stocktaking Meeting (4-6 Dec 2017, Puerto Vallarta)
· GFMD Thematic Recollection (2007-2017), (22 Nov 2017)

GFMD 2017-2018 Special Meeting on the GCM with Co-Facilitators and SRSG (19 June 2018, Geneva)
11th GFMD Summit in Marrakesh (5-7 Dec 2018, Marrakesh

· Overarching focus on preparing for GCM implementation, part of the Marrakesh ‘Migration Week’ which included adoption of the GCM


The GFMD’s contribution to the elaboration of the GCM

The Modalities Resolution of the GCM, recognizes the GFMD as an important platform that has contributed to the preparatory process and intergovernmental negotiations of the GCM. In this context, both the GFMD 2016 Chair Bangladesh and the 2017-2018 Co-Chairs Germany and Morocco focused their (Co-)Chairmanship towards developing ideas and generating consensus that could support the creation of the Compact. To this end, they organized a variety of GCM-related dialogues, thematic workshops, and roundtables in the last three years.

At the GCM Stocktaking Meeting in Mexico in December 2017, the Co-Chairs presented the GFMD Thematic Recollection (2007-2017) – the GFMD’s final contribution to the GCM, consolidating 10 years of GFMD discussions and cooperation around migration and development. In this way, the GFMD served as one of the key venues in which professional expertise, as well as political goodwill, was developed in the process leading up to the Compact.


The GFMD and the GCM going forward

“We invite the Global Forum on Migration and Development to provide a space for annual informal exchange on the implementation of the Global Compact, and report the findings, best practices and innovative approaches to the International Migration Review Forum.”
Paragraph 51, Global Compact on Migration


“Further recognizing the important role of State-led processes and platforms at global and regional levels in advancing the international dialogue on migration, we invite the Global Forum on Migration and Development… to provide platforms to exchange experiences on the implementation of the Global Compact, share good practices on policies and cooperation, promote innovative approaches, and foster multi-stakeholder partnerships around specific policy issues.”
Paragraph 47, Global Compact on Migration

The GCM explicitly acknowledges the GFMD (in Operative Paragraph 3) as a platform that paved the way for the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, through which Member States committed to elaborate a Global Compact for Refugees and to adopt a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The intergovernmentally negotiated and agreed outcome of the GCM foresees the role of the GFMD as a platform to exchange experiences on the implementation of the GCM, share good policies on practices and cooperation, promote innovative approaches, and foster multi-stakeholder partnerships around specific policy issues (OP 47). It also invites the GFMD to provide a space for annual informal exchange on the implementation of the Compact, and report findings, best practices and innovative approaches to the International Migration Review Forum (OP 51). In addition, the GFMD Platform for Partnerships (PfP) is acknowledged as a building block of the global knowledge platform envisioned as one of the three elements of the proposed UN capacity-building mechanism (CBM).

Additionally, the modalities Resolution of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), adopted by the General Assembly on 19 July 2019, invites the GFMD, including its civil society, business and mayors mechanisms, to provide a space for informal exchanges on the implementation of the Global Compact, and report the findings, best practices and innovative approaches to the forums.

Going forward, the GFMD is called upon to work closely with the UN Migration Network, which was established in 2019 in order to provide a UN system-wide coherent approach to migration, in order to best fulfill its goals in supporting the implementation of the GCM.

The GFMD’s raison d’etre in the era of GCM implementation

In 2018, the German-Moroccan Co-Chairmanship of the GFMD commissioned a GFMD Ten-Year Review, in order to consider GFMD's relationship with respect to the GCM and its role in the era of GCM implementation. The Review report, prepared by an independent Experts Team, sets out a number of recommendations and ambitions for the future of the Forum. Inter alia, the report postulates that “the GFMD has the opportunity to become a motor for GCM implementation, follow-up and review, by playing a catalytic role in encouraging States and other stakeholders to take action, share their progress (as well as failures), and thereby to learn from and motivate each other.” Member States and stakeholders also envision the GFMD as an informal space with “an expanded role in facilitating the formation of (multi-stakeholder) partnerships to support GCM implementation; a new role, emerging from the GCM, as a platform for reviewing progress in GCM implementation; and a role as a central hub for the exchange of data and knowledge and for supporting learning and capacity development.”

More importantly, this report affirms GFMD’s raison d’etre beyond the GCM. The GFMD community, while generally expressing enthusiasm for being able to use the GFMD as a forum to discuss the GCM and facilitate its implementation, reiterated the GFMD's core identity as a state-led, voluntary, informal and non-biding process. States and non-state participants agreed that the core goals and blueprint of the GFMD will remain unchanged in the era of GCM implementation – namely, building knowledge, brokering partnerships and fostering networking on migration and development.  

In light of this report and the explicit mandate given to the GFMD, the GFMD Chair Ecuador co-organized with the Governments of Bahrain and the Philippines the first GFMD Thematic Workshop on GCM Implementation on 21-22 March 2019 in Geneva.

Furthermore, the GFMD 2019 Chair convened a Member States-led consultation on the relationship between the GFMD and the GCM on 4 April 2019. At this consultation, members of the GFMD community reaffirmed the GFMD's added value and complementary nature to the GCM, particularly its provision of a space to discuss contentious issues, explore linkages between migration and development, and engage with a diverse range of stakeholders. Particularly, the GFMD was seen as a potential forum for peer-learning to support States' implementation of the GCM.

Relevant documents: