SIMN Participated at the Twelfth Global Forum on Migration & Development

Quito, Ecuador, January 26, 2020 – From January 20 to 24, the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) participated at the Twelfth Global Forum on Migration & Development hosted by the Government of the Republic of Ecuador.

High-Level officials of the Government of the Republic of Ecuador opened the GFMD Summit. Ministers and Vice Ministers from all parts of the world, policy-makers, and practitioners in migration and development fields attended the Forum.

This Summit was focused on the central them: “Sustainable approaches to human mobility: Upholding rights, strengthening state agency, and advancing development through partnerships and collective action.” The agenda of the Global Forum of Migration & Development consisted of three Roundtables (RT) themes, discussed in six RT sessions:

(1) Coordinated responses to mixed movements: Partnerships and collective action to protect rights

  • Roundtable 1.1: Providing regular pathways from crisis to safety
  • Roundtable 1.2: Facilitating social and economic inclusion

(2) Migration narratives and communication: What role, responsibility and resources do governments have?

  • Roundtable 2.1: Shaping public narratives on migration and migrants
  • Roundtable 2.2: Communicating effectively with migrants

(3) Addressing human mobility as part of urban and rural development strategies

  • Roundtable 3.1: Supporting arrival cities through policy coherence and multi-stakeholder partnerships
  • Roundtable 3.2: Harnessing migration for rural transformation and development

Following the tradition of the GFMD, the three-day Summit program included inaugural and closing ceremonies, as well as Roundtable discussions and special sessions on the GFMD Platform for Partnerships. To highlight a couple of statements from the Roundtable discussions, the Ecuadorian Ambassador, Santiago Chávez Pareja spoke about the importance of this forum held in a country that has many migrants and refugees. He stated that migration should not be seen as a problem, but rather as a Human Rights stated “together, we need to build everything good for humanity. This includes also talking about migration policies and their barriers to migrants. What do they do with the information they present to the authorities and institutions? Unfortunately, we see that the situation is not improving in the world. There is no concern in saving lives but rather the opposite. We need concrete actions.”

One of the topics that were also discussed at the round table was climate change. There are world leaders who still do not believe in the science of climate change. Hence the need for displacement as a result of climate change. What are the public policies of governments in relation to the issue? It is easier to see the consequences of what is seen immediately. Climate change is taking place very slowly; the drought in Central America has caused much irreversible damage to children’s health. What answers are the states giving? Many times states have a temporary nature and not long-term planning. What are states and civil society doing in relation to the Global Compact and proposals regarding climate change? It is a challenge for us to know and make known about the Compact also to governments.

During the session, Santiago Chavez delivered the Presidency of the 2020 Forum to Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emigration of the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates would be the first country in the Gulf region to assume the GFMD. The XIII Summit is expected to be held in Dubai in January 2021.