Joint Reflections on Migration and Development: A GFMD Symposium for Civil Society and Governments
23-24 August 2011, Graduate Insitute, Geneva
This symposium offered a space for Swiss and International Civil Society and governments to brainstorm about the outcomes of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) 2010, in Mexico, the connections between these and the thematic program for GFMD 2011 in Switzerland, the role of Civil Society in the GFMD, and how to build on the efforts of 2010 to strengthen interaction between Civil Society and governments in the GFMD 2011.
The discussions were informal and engaged a balanced selection of participants from governments of countries of origin and destination, Civil Society and Academia. They have been guided by the authors of a book on Reflections on Migration and Development that has been published by Springer, IOM and the Mexican Government in early 2012. These presented key issues and outcomes from the chapters they have prepared. Governments and Civil Society participants were invited to be discussants and debate the issues, observations and findings of the experts.
The objective was to encourage joint reflections among governments, international and Swiss academics, and international and Swiss Civil Society (SCS) towards a more collaborative and cohesive debate at the Friends of the Forum meeting in December 2011.
In particular, the symposium engaged Swiss Civil Society (SCS) in the GFMD 2011 process, by devoting two half days to their discussions and consolidation of inputs and questions. The objectives of the SCS representatives were to 1) use this opportunity to strengthen and develop the process of consultation and cooperation among SCS organizations and with the Swiss Government; 2) improve SCS knowledge, awareness and engagement with migration and development issues in general and the GFMD process in particular; 3) exchange ideas with International Civil Society representatives, to feed into the November 2011 Civil Society Days (e.g. by producing Swiss-specific recommendations) and the future GFMD process; 4) develop draft recommendations for the November 2011 Civil Society Days and ultimately the December 2011 Friends of the Forum meeting (with the special aim to connect the Swiss perspective with the international debate on Migration and Development).
The symposium covered a combination of the thematic scheme of GFMD 2011 and the themes of GFMD 2010, as reflected in the forthcoming Springer book: Labour Mobility and Development, Gender, Family, Migration and Development, Irregular Migration and Development and Policy and Institutional Coherence. It also reflected on How Governments and Civil Society can move the GFMD Forward towards 2013.
The outcomes of the symposium include a report on specific areas for the 2011 process to take forward; a better informed Springer book (i.e. informed by the CS/government comments); a better informed Swiss Civil Society on migration and development issues and on the GFMD; a draft statement/recommendations by the Swiss Civil Society (to be fine-tuned and consolidated after the two-day meeting); and a Civil Society 2011 GFMD concept paper, also for contribution to the final GFMD Friends of the Forum meeting in December 2011.
The Programme for the Study of Global Migration, "Report on the Symposium: Joint Reflections on Migration and Development held at the Graduate Institute – Geneva, on August 23-24 2011", 2012.
More info: Concept and program & Background paper
News Brief: "Institute Research Programme Hosts Symposium on Migration and Development", by Ms Marina Peterhans & Dr Jérôme Elie, 05.09.2011.
Recommendations from Swiss Civil Society Organizations