The Global Forum on Migration and Development: Perspectives from Asia and the Pacific
This issue brief explores the Asia-Pacific region's active engagement in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) for the past seven years, and identifies the challenges and opportunities ahead in keeping this engagement alive. The brief argues that although GFMD was primarily designed as a venue for changing the discourse on migration, the success of its efforts to date and the pressing need for progress on the ground both indicate that it is time to assess how the Forum can facilitate concrete action.
Asia-Pacific countries have been both participants and leaders of the Forum. Virtually every country in the region has assigned representatives in GFMD’s network of country focal points, eight Asia-Pacific countries are part of the GFMD Steering Group, and a number have contributed to the roundtable and thematic meetings either as co-chairs or team members. Three countries from the region were also part of a 14-member Assessment Team that outlined the future of the Forum after 2012.
The region’s engagement has helped shape the themes and topics of GFMD meetings, but the challenges facing migrants and their families have not abated. To remain relevant, GFMD must become as instrumental in shaping the reality on the ground as it has been in shaping the global discourse on migration and development. The 2012 GFMD assessment shows participant states’ demand for a more development-focused and results-driven forum. Additionally, this year’s Forum is taking place in the lead up to the post-2015 development agenda discourse, and there are growing calls in the Asia-Pacific region for integrating migration into this agenda.
The brief, part of a joint series by MPI and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) offering succinct insights on migration issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region, recommends an enhanced linkage with regional fora and processes; a more dynamic people-to-people networking platform where policymakers can find partners, pilot projects, test ideas, and develop policy and programmatic tools; and a more focused, action-oriented, and results-driven process for the next five years.
II. Asia-Pacific Government Engagement with the Global Forum on Migration and Development
III. Incorporating Regional Issues in the Global Discourse
IV. Going Beyond Changing the Discourse: Three Key Steps
1. Enhancing Regional Interactions
2. Encouraging People-to-People Networking
3. Developing an Action-Oriented, Results-Driven Process in Five Priority Areas