Global Forum on Migration and Development

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Global Forum on Migration & Development
Forum Mondial sur la Migration et le Developpement
Foro Mundial sobre Migración y Desarrollo
Logo of the Global Forum on Migration and Development.svg
Official Logo
TypeGovernment Meeting
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland
Member States and Observers of the United Nations
Official language
English, French and Spanish
Host Country
Germany and Morocco (2017-2018)
H.E. Dr. Gotz Schmidt-Bremme (Germany) and H.E. Mr. El Habib Nadir (Morocco)

The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is a recent initiative of the United Nations Member States to address the migration and development interconnections in practical and action-oriented ways. It is an informal, non-binding, voluntary and government-led process that marks the culmination of more than a decade of international dialogue on the growing importance of the linkages between migration and development. It reflects the progressive acknowledgement of the limits of a strictly national approach to migration questions and implications at a global level in an intergovernmental framework. In view of the societal implications of these issues, civil society representatives have also been involved from the outset in this process.The GFMD Business Mechanism, endorsed at the 2015 GFMD Summit in Istanbul, brings the voice of business to the forum. There is clearly a mutual interest between governments, the private sector, and civil society, to promote more transparent, effective and humane migration policies, taking into accounts labour market needs. The International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Migration coordinate the work of the GFMD Business mechanism. Together they form the Business Advisory Group. The GFMD Business Mechanism is housed at the IOE in Geneva.[1]


Among the formative initiatives pre-dating the GFMD are:

  • The UN Population and Development Conference in Cairo[2] (1994)
  • The Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM)[3]
  • The UN General Assembly 14–15 September 2006 High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD)[4]


The objectives of the GFMD are:

  • To provide a venue for policy-makers and high-level policy practitioners to informally discuss relevant policies and practical challenges and opportunities of the migration-development nexus, and engage with other stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, experts and migrant organizations to foster practical and action-oriented outcomes at national, bilateral and international level;
  • To exchange good practices and experiences, which can be duplicated or adapted in other circumstances, in order to maximize the development benefits of migration and migration flows;
  • To identify information, policy and institutional gaps necessary to foster synergies and greater policy coherence at national, regional and international levels between the migration and development policy areas;
  • To establish partnerships and cooperation between countries, and between countries and other stakeholders, such as international organizations, diaspora, migrants, academia etc., on migration and development;
  • To structure the international priorities and agenda on migration and development.


Under the Operating Modalities of the GFMD adopted in 2007, the Forum meets every year for an inter-active and practice-oriented dialogue. It is attended by high-level and senior government policy-makers, and its deliberations are held under Chatham House Rules. A Report of Proceedings is prepared at the end of each Forum.

The supporting framework of the GFMD includes the following:

  • The Chair-in-Office: The host government assumes responsibility for the preparatory process and the implementation of each Forum. The Chair also supervises the GFMD Support Unit. The current GFMD Co-Chairs-in-Office are Dr. Gotz Schmidt-Bremme, Ambassador for the 2017-2018 GFMD at the German Federal Foreign Office (Germany) and Mr. El Habib Nadir Secretary General at the Ministry in charge of Moroccans living Abroad and Migration Affairs(Morocco).
  • The Troika: composed of the outgoing Chair, the current Chair, and the forthcoming Chair.
  • The Steering Group: composed of a smaller number of governments that are firmly committed to offer sustained political and conceptual support to the Forum process and to the Chair-in-Office, and to ensure continuity of the process. The Steering Group meets at regular intervals in Geneva to consider and advise on all relevant policy issues pertaining to the smooth running of the Forum process. It may also create thematic follow-up working groups.

Steering Group Members:[5]

  • The Friends of the Forum: open to all UN Member States and Observers. It acts as a sounding board by ensuring that all Members States and Observers of the UN are kept abreast of Forum-related developments; and advises on the agenda, structure and format of the GFMD meeting. Friends of the Forum Meetings are held, in principle, at least twice in between each Forum meeting at a venue to be determined by the Chair-in-Office.

GFMD Governments:[6]

  1.  Afghanistan
  2.  Albania
  3.  Algeria
  4.  Andorra
  5.  Angola
  6.  Antigua and Barbuda
  7.  Argentina
  8.  Armenia
  9.  Australia
  10.  Austria
  11.  Azerbaijan
  12.  Bahamas
  13.  Bahrain
  14.  Bangladesh
  15.  Barbados
  16.  Belarus
  17.  Belgium
  18.  Belize
  19.  Benin
  20.  Bhutan
  21.  Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
  22.  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  23.  Botswana
  24.  Brazil
  25.  Brunei Darussalam
  26.  Bulgaria
  27.  Burkina Faso
  28.  Burundi
  29.  Cabo Verde
  30.  Cambodia
  31.  Cameroon
  32.  Canada
  33.  Central African Republic
  34.  Chad
  35.  Chile
  36.  China
  37.  Colombia
  38.  Comoros
  39.  Congo
  40.  Democratic Republic of the Congo
  41.  Costa Rica
  42.  Côte d'Ivoire
  43.  Croatia
  44.  Cuba
  45.  Cyprus
  46.  Czech Republic
  47.  Denmark
  48.  Djibouti
  49.  Dominica
  50.  Dominican Republic
  51.  Ecuador
  52.  Egypt
  53.  El Salvador
  54.  Equatorial Guinea
  55.  Eritrea
  56.  Estonia
  57.  Ethiopia
  58.  Fiji
  59.  Finland
  60.  France
  61.  Gabon
  62.  Gambia
  63.  Georgia
  64.  Germany
  65.  Ghana
  66.  Greece
  67.  Grenada
  68.  Guatemala
  69.  Guinea
  70.  Guinea-Bissau
  71.  Guyana
  72.  Haiti
  73.  Holy See
  74.  Honduras
  75.  Hungary
  76.  Iceland
  77.  India
  78.  Indonesia
  79.  Iran (Islamic Republic of)
  80.  Iraq
  81.  Ireland
  82.  Israel
  83.  Italy
  84.  Jamaica
  85.  Japan
  86.  Jordan
  87.  Kazakhstan
  88.  Kenya
  89.  Kiribati
  90.  North Korea
  91.  South Korea
  92.  Kuwait
  93.  Kyrgyzstan
  94.  Lao People's Democratic Republic
  95.  Latvia
  96.  Lebanon
  97.  Lesotho
  98.  Liberia
  99.  Libya
  100.  Liechtenstein
  101.  Lithuania
  102.  Luxembourg
  103.  Macedonia
  104.  Madagascar
  105.  Malawi
  106.  Malaysia
  107.  Maldives
  108.  Mali
  109.  Malta
  110.  Marshall Islands
  111.  Mauritania
  112.  Mauritius
  113.  Mexico
  114.  Micronesia (Federated States of)
  115.  Republic of Moldova
  116.  Monaco
  117.  Mongolia
  118.  Montenegro
  119.  Morocco
  120.  Mozambique
  121.  Myanmar
  122.  Namibia
  123.  Nauru
  124.    Nepal
  125.  Netherlands
  126.  New Zealand
  127.  Nicaragua
  128.  Niger
  129.  Nigeria
  130.  Norway
  131.  Oman
  132.  Pakistan
  133.  Palau
  134.  Palestine
  135.  Panama
  136.  Papua New Guinea
  137.  Paraguay
  138.  Peru
  139.  Philippines
  140.  Poland
  141.  Portugal
  142.  Qatar
  143.  Romania
  144.  Russia
  145.  Rwanda
  146.  Saint Kitts and Nevis
  147.  Saint Lucia
  148.  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  149.  Samoa
  150.  San Marino
  151.  Sao Tome and Principe
  152.  Saudi Arabia
  153.  Senegal
  154.  Serbia
  155.  Seychelles
  156.  Sierra Leone
  157.  Singapore
  158.  Slovakia
  159.  Slovenia
  160.  Solomon Islands
  161.  Somalia
  162.  South Africa
  163.  South Sudan
  164.  Spain
  165.  Sri Lanka
  166.  Sudan
  167.  Suriname
  168.  Swaziland
  169.  Sweden
  170.   Switzerland
  171.  Syrian Arab Republic
  172.  Tajikistan
  173.  United Republic of Tanzania
  174.  Thailand
  175.  Timor-Leste
  176.  Togo
  177.  Tonga
  178.  Trinidad and Tobago
  179.  Tunisia
  180.  Turkey
  181.  Turkmenistan
  182.  Tuvalu
  183.  Uganda
  184.  Ukraine
  185.  United Arab Emirates
  186.  United Kingdom
  187.  United States
  188.  Uruguay
  189.  Uzbekistan
  190.  Vanuatu
  191.  Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
  192.  Viet Nam
  193.  Yemen
  194.  Zambia
  195.  Zimbabwe

GFMD Observers:[7]

  1. ACP Observatory on Migration
  2. African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
  3. African Development Bank
  4. African Union
  5. Association of Southeast Asian Nations
  6. Asian Development Bank
  7. Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
  8. Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families
  9. Commonwealth Secretariat (Commonwealth)
  10. European Union
  11. Inter-American Conference on Social Security
  12. Inter-American Development Bank
  13. Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees
  14. International Catholic Migration Commission
  15. International Center for Migration Policy Development
  16. International Committee of the Red Cross
  17. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  18. International Fund for Agricultural Development
  19. International Labour Organization
  20. International Organization for Migration
  21. International Organization of the Francophonie
  22. Joint Migration and Development Initiative
  23. League of Arab States
  24. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  25. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  26. Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General
  27. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  28. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
  29. Organization of Islamic Conference
  30. Partners in Population and Development (PPD)
  31. Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD)
  32. Regional Conference on Migration (Puebla Process)
  33. Secretaría General Iberoamericana
  34. South American Conference on Migration
  35. Sovereign Military Order of Malta
  36. United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
  37. United Nations Children's Fund
  38. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  39. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  40. United Nations Development Programme
  41. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  42. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
  43. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  44. United Nations Human Security Unit
  45. United Nations Institute for Training and Research
  46. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  47. United Nations Office at Geneva
  48. United Nations Population Fund
  49. United Nations Regional Commissions
  50. United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants
  51. UN Women
  52. Universal Postal Union
  53. World Bank
  54. World Health Organization
  • The Chair’s Taskforce: gives political, conceptual and operational advice to the Chair, composed of: national government staff from different ministries and departments and a limited number of international advisers sponsored by other governments or international organizations.
  • The GFMD Support Unit: created in 2008 to perform administrative, financial and logistical functions; manage GFMD-related data and information; manage internationally contributed funds; and operate the GFMD website and the GFMD Platform for Partnerships (the latter since 2010).
  • The Global Network of GFMD Focal Points: created in 2007 to facilitate further dialogue at the national level, as well as networking at the global level between GFMD governments.
  • The GFMD government-led ad hoc Working Groups, established by the Steering Group, which prioritize and follow up on outcomes of previous GFMD meetings and link these to current and future thematic priorities.
  • The UNSG’s Special Representative on International Migration and Development (Currently, Ms. Louise Arbour is appointed as the UNSG Special Representative on International Migration and Development (on 9 March 2017). Her predecessor Mr. Peter Sutherland played a key role in the creation of the GFMD and provided a link between the United Nations and the GFMD.[8]

Following invitation of the Swiss Chair, in 2001 the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) took the role of Coordinating Office for Civil Society. It currently maintains this role. The International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Migration coordinate the work of the GFMD Business mechanism. Together they form the Business Advisory Group. The GFMD Business Mechanism is housed at the IOE.

Chair-in-Office and past GFMD[edit]

The host country (Chair-in-Office) assumes responsibility for the preparatory process and the implementation of each Forum. The host government chairs all sessions related to Forum preparations and chairs the Forum. The Chair-in-Office is assisted by the country that organized the previous Forum and the country that will host the following meeting of the Forum.

  • The Belgium GFMD was chaired by Mrs. Régine de Clercq, former Ambassador for Migration and Asylum Policy of Belgium, who acted as the Belgian Executive Director of the GFMD.
  • The Philippines GFMD was chaired by Mr. Esteban B. Conejos Jr., Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. He was the Philippine GFMD focal point and Secretary General of the GFMD National Organizing Committee.
  • The Greece GFMD was chaired by Mrs. Theodora Tzakri, Deputy Minister of Interior, Decentralization and E-Governance. Ambassador Anastasios Scopelitis was appointed as the Head of the GFMD Athens 2009 Taskforce, comprising both the national and international experts. In this capacity, Ambassador Scopelitis directed the substantive and organizational preparations for the Athens meeting.
  • The Mexico GFMD meeting was initially chaired by Ambassador Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mrs. Cecilia Romero Castillo, then Commissioner of INM, acted as Executive Director. On 7 October, she was succeeded by Mr. Salvador Beltrán del Rio Madrid. In late October 2010, Amb Julián Ventura Valero, Undersecretary for North America at the SRE assumed the role of the GFMD Chair.
  • The Switzerland GFMD meeting was chaired by Ambassador Eduard Gnesa, Swiss Special Ambassador for International Cooperation in Migration. He chaired all preparatory meetings of the GFMD in 2011, and some of the GFMD 2011 thematic meetings held all over the world. He was assisted by a taskforce that included national and international experts and advisors. Three Swiss agencies formed part of the Swiss GFMD Taskforce, namely, the Human Security Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Swiss Federal Office for Migration.
  • The Mauritius GFMD was chaired by Mr. Ali Mansoor, Financial Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) of the Republic of Mauritius. He chaired all of the GFMD 2012 preparatory meetings and headed a National Task Force with representatives from Mauritian public institutions, private sector, civil society, IOM Mauritius and international advisors. Five international workshops on key migration and development themes were also held as part of the GFMD 2012 preparatory meetings under the Mauritian Chairmanship.
  • The Sweden GFMD (2013 to 2014) was chaired by Mrs. Eva Åkerman Börje, Ambassador, Government Offices of Sweden.
  • Turkey took over the Chairmanship of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) as of 1 July 2014.

The Platform for Partnerships (PfP)[edit]

Since the creation of the GFMD in 2007, there have been continued calls during the annual GFMD meetings for online sharing of good practices using the GFMD website. At the initiative of the Mexican Chair and with the support of the current Swiss Chair the PfP has been created towards the end of 2010 to address this need and to foster new partnerships.

The GFMD Platform for Partnerships[9] (PfP - is a tool to facilitate exchange and showcase projects, programs and policies that are undertaken by governments in the field of Migration and Development (M&D), and which are related to GFMD themes, debates and outcomes. The PfP is a four-pronged tool:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "GFMD at a Glance". GFMD Support Unit.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "GFMD Steering Group".
  6. ^ "GFMD Focal Points Directory".
  7. ^ "GFMD List of Observers".
  8. ^
  9. ^