Debating GFMD's contribution to the implementation of migration-related SDGs

Published Date: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Experts, policy-makers and civil society representatives convened in Berlin for the sixth edition of “Migration and Development Debate Series” jointly organized by IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) with Germany's Federal Foreign Office and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The event titled “The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and its contribution to the implementation of migration-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” fostered the debate on how a government-led platform like the GFMD can add in achieving the migration-related SDGs.

As key-speaker, Dr. Eduard Gnesa, Special Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation for International Cooperation in Migration, noted that the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development includes for the first time applicable targets on migration but warned that “2030 will remain on paper if we don’t utilise its potential.” For Dr. Gnesa a multi-stakeholder society is the key for a successful GFMD while highlighted the importance of holding consultations with civil society during the Forum. He particularly stressed the necessity of involving the private sector in the process and above all multinational companies. 

Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow and co-founder from the Migration Policy Institute, discussed GFMD´s reinforced role as well as its contribution to the Global Compact on Migration (GCM). Ms. Newland observed the large number of interactions from the international community in addressing the pressing challenges of migration (New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, GCM, UN resolutions). “We don’t necessarily need more migration governance but more international cooperation,” she said adding that we need to strengthen the platform for international cooperation.

Dr. Frank Laczko, Director of IOM´s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, provided input on the SDGs and migration indicators underlining the absence of comprehensive migration information and data and differentiation on the use of definitions and data-collection among countries. He went on with the recommendations from the Conference on Improving Data on International Migration organised in Berlin (December 2016) including: the need to enhance dialogue among stakeholders; develop a global framework to monitor data progress; measuring data; make use of Big Data and building national capacities. Concluding he noted that the New York Declaration “highlights the need for much better data on migration and this provides an opportunity to really enhance the migration evidence base in the coming years.”