Migrant Voice took part in the 2015 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) by speaking at a panel in the Forum’s Common Space, and organising a side event on "Europe's migrant crisis" at the GFMD Civil Society Days.
The Global Forum is a UN process bringing together governments and policy makers in order to explore the relationship between migration and development, and to further cooperation on practical initiatives. The meeting, held in Istanbul, featured a parallel program where civil society members, including academics, grassroots organisations and NGOs, held deliberations and shared their views with particpating states.
The GFMD 2014-2015 Common Space bridged the programme of the Civil Society Days on 12-13 October and the programme of the Government on 14-16 October. Migrant Voice’s Director, Nazek Ramadan was a panellist on the Common Space Break-out session entitled Beyond xenophobia and exclusion: local partnerships and action for the social inclusion of migrants and diaspora. She was joined by other panellists Mr. Goetz Schmidt-Bremme, Director for Legal and Consular Issues including Migration, Federal Foreign Office; Mr. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary, Bangladesh; H. E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC); Mr. Badji Nfaly, Directeur, Agence Régionale de Développement de Sédhiou Santassou II (Ex Douane), Senegal; and moderator Ms. Michelle LeVoy, Director, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants.
The GFMD Civil Society Programme brought together more than 300 global civil society leaders, selected by an International Steering Committee out of a pool of more than 800 applications from over 150 countries. There were debates and special events devoted to topics high on the agenda such as:
Safe migration: root causes, route choices and alternatives for forced and dangerous migration
Protection and durable solutions for Syrian refugees
The newly-adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals and what they will mean for migration and migrants
Migrant and diaspora action for job creation and social entrepreneurship
Reforming migrant workers recruitment and employment practices
Xenophobia and social inclusion
The GFMD took place during turbulent time for migration, migrants and families, and those working alongside, with and for them. As violence, natural disasters and political turmoil continue across the world, the world is experiencing the largest displacement of people since the Second World War. Seeking new solutions and response to welcome, support, protect and advocate for migrants and refugees was central to this year’s GFMD Society Days.
At the same time, the GFMD took place only two weeks after the adoption of the new 2030 Development Agenda by the UN General Assembly, which included the recognition that the well-being, empowerment and human rights of migrants are key to development. How these goals can really benefit the currently estimated 247+ million migrants and communities around the work was central to this year’s GFMD Civil Society Days.