Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Civil Society Days 2012, Port Louis, Mauritius from 19th – 21st November 2012
Hi everyone! This is my first post here. I am happy to share that I have just returned home to the UK from the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Civil Society Days 2012 in Mauritius http://www.gfmdcivilsociety.org/. I met the most amazing people and have now developed links with a variety of networks, international organisations and governments worldwide. I was also proud to see the Zambian Government and the Zambia Federation of Employers represented.
The GFMD 2012 was held in Port Louis, Mauritius from 19th - 22nd November 2012 with than 800 representatives from civil society and governments from some 160 countries. We all gathered to discuss changes needed in labour migration, protection of migrants, promotion of their rights and development.
Leaders of non-governmental organisations, migrant and diaspora groups, trade unions, academia and the private sector joined ministers and senior officials of foreign relations, labour, interior, development, overseas assistance, commerce and other government offices together with representatives of UN and other international organisations at the sixth GFMD. In a “two plus two formula”, civil society led the first two days of the Global Forum meetings, followed by two days organised by governments, with a full morning of joint meeting—a “Common Space”—formally bridging the two.
The programme of the Civil Society Days is available here: http://www.gfmdcivilsociety.org/downloads/2012/Programme%202012%20GFMD%2....
The programme for the government days is available at: http://gfmd.org/en/.
The co-chairs of the Civil Society Days opened the Common Space meeting by presenting governments with a set of key recommendations, mechanisms for action and benchmarks to measure progress that civil society participants had developed together in the first two days. “We are here today not for ourselves", the civil society statement said, “we are here for change”, stressing the protection of migrant rights especially in the areas of labour recruitment and humanitarian crisis situations.
The full set of civil society recommendations and statement to governments is available here: http://www.gfmdcivilsociety.org/downloads/2012/programme/results/GFMD_20....
Biographies of both civil society co-chairs are available here: http://www.gfmdcivilsociety.org/newsletter/CountdowntotheCivilSocietyDay....
I was part of the Working Sessions that produced Recommendations under 2A: Diaspora and Development and 2B: Development and Migration. “For change, there must be a clear mandate for migrant participation in policy-making in countries of origin and destination on the full range of development planning, with meaningful attention to diaspora priorities, investments and other engagement, including entrepreneurial endeavours, investment guarantees, social remittances and knowledge exchange, capacity building, business networking and legal protection.” For more details: http://www.gfmdcivilsociety.org/Pages/Program.html.
Furthermore, more than 100 civil society organisations roundly endorsed a “5 Point Plan for Strong Civil Society Involvement” in the upcoming High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (HLD), which the UN General Assembly is organising in September 2013, to set the agenda for the years ahead. I signed the plan on behalf of Zambia Diaspora Development Network (ZDDN). Omni-present in the 5-point plan and throughout the GFMD was the need to bring more development, development actors, and development policies into the equation, including ensuring migrants’ and migration’s rightful place on the global development agenda, as the Millennium Development Goals approach expiration in 2015. The 5-point plan is still open for the signatures of additional civil society organisations, and will further be presented at the World Social Forum on Migrations that meets in Manila the last week in November.
The text for the 5 Point Plan is available here http://www.gfmdcivilsociety.org/downloads/2012/programme/results/5%20poi....
The Civil Society activities of the 2012 Global Forum on Migration and Development are organised by the GFMD Civil Society Coordinating Office, under the auspices of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) in partnership with local partner Caritas Mauritius and a diversity of NGOs, labour organizations, migrants and migrant associations, members of the academic community, and the private sector.
The information above can all be found on: http://www.gfmdcivilsociety.org/.
My participation was funded by Comic Relief’s Common Ground Initiative Influencing and Engagement Strategy. I will post my full report of the GFMD 2012 Civil Society Days soon. This will be produced in conjunction with my colleague, Susan Oldham from MIFUMI http://www.mifumi.org/ who participated in the GFMD 2012 Civil Society Days with me under Comic Relief.
Check me out on twitter, @chibwe_san, for interesting GFMD 2012 twits: @GFMD_CSD and #6GFMD.