Common Space & Government Days 2016

Common Space and Government Days 2016

Opening of Common Space 2016, with Civil Society Chair 2015 Ignacio Packer speaking around minute 48.00. 

At the start of December 2016, the government published its programme for the GFMD, and an overview of the government leads for the different government roundtables.

CSO input to the Concept Paper for the Governments’ GFMD programme

As in prior years, the government Chair of the GFMD (this year Bangladesh), invited civil society feedback as it drafted the concept paper for the governments’ GFMD programme. In October and November, ICMC’s Civil Society Coordinating Office circulated and discussed that draft with 38 leaders and networks around the world active in the International Steering Committee of civil society for the GFMD. Feedback was then consolidated and submitted to the Chair as a civil society perspective on the “Elements of Concept Note”.  Working with the Chair’s second draft and additional ISC input, the Coordinating Office further emphasized civil society perspectives at meetings directly with the Chair and with governments and agencies in the Friends of the Forum beween January and March 2016. 

Government Concept Paper

At the end of March, the government GFMD Chair, Bangladesh, released its final revision of the Concept Paper, with the overall theme for this year’s government programme of the GFMD “Migration that Works for Sustainable Development of All: a transformative migration agenda”. As described, the aim is to take forward an “SDG Plus” approach, understanding migration as an integral component of human life, livelihood and development. The government concept paper specifically emphasizes multi-stakeholder partnerships, including with civil society but also with a new "interactive business mechanism" to get the private sector more involved in the GFMD. The government concept paper also proposes the organization of three thematic preparatory workshops throughout the year, in different locations around the world.

Civil society proposal to increase participation in the government days of the GFMD

Civil society space in the week of GFMD meetings has slowly increased since they began in 2007, first from one day to two days and now also in 4 hours of “common space” with all governments. What has not changed is that civil society is still not permitted to participate in government roundtables.

For each of the past three years, ICMC and the ISC have asked the governments to invite representatives of civil society to those roundtables.

Following the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Turkey last October 2015, about half of the civil society delegates participated in an assessment conducted by ICMC’s GFMD Civil Society Coordinating Office. One of the strongest recommendations was for more and better interaction between governments and civil society in GFMD meetings.

In February 2016, ICMC’s Coordinating Office and the ISC sent a letter to the current GFMD government chair, Bangladesh, asking for a meeting to discuss this proposal. It was signed and submitted by members of the ISC, later joined by  151 civil society organizations around the world.

ICMC’s Coordinating Office presented the letter and proposal to the Chair, and at his invitation, directly to the extended “Troika” of current, past and next government Chairs of the GFMD. There was further discussion in the “Steering Group” of governments most active in the GFMD. Unfortunately, a small number of governments indicated that they were not yet open to the proposal.


Common Space

Government Days

Friends of the Forum
Side event co-hosted by the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families
Thematic Workshop – Migration for Harmonious Societies (18 May, 2016)

Speech by Ignacio Packer, Secretary-General, Terre des Hommes/ Chair of the GFMD Civil Society Days in 2015