A WORD OF THANKS TO ALL PARTICIPANTS IN THE THIRD GFMD
The Third Global Forum on Migration and Development was fruitfully concluded in Athens on 5 November 2009. You were numerous to participate and we hope that you benefited from the exchanges and returned home with new inspiration and fresh ideas.
The Greek GFMD 2009 Chair wishes to thank all participants for their valued presence, their active contributions to the debate and its preparatory process; above all, for their ongoing support, without which nothing could have been achieved.
It is our earnest hope that the GFMD will continue to sustainably face developments and promote concepts for the benefit of all.
We wish the Government of Mexico the best of luck for its Chairmanship. The challenge is big, but the rewards are worth it.
Head of GFMD 2009 Taskforce
Greece’s interest on migration issues is sincere and continuous. It could not have been different because we witness everyday major migration pressures at our borders, sometimes resulting in human tragedies, a personal drama for many who choose a non-regular way of entering the country. Established migrants in Greece have contributed a great deal to the development of the Greek economy, to the improvement of demographic indexes and towards the support of the social security system. The transfer of a different cultural capital has clearly enriched Greek society and has strengthened multiculturalism.
The establishment of the Global Forum on Migration and Development reflects the growing interest of the international community on migration as a major driver of social and economic development, and the creation of a new world with less poverty. We hope that in the future migration will be based more on choice than necessity.
We are confident that the outcomes out of the Third Global Forum on Migration and Development will inspire policy-making, especially in favour of those who experience hardships and an everyday often unequal battle.
Giannis N. Ragkousis
Minister of Interior, Decentralisation
Migration is a natural part of human history. However, it is not a static phenomenon; it is not the same in different historical periods; it develops and changes according to different characteristics and shifts in the global economic and geopolitical map.
Globalization has changed the face of international migration. It has transformed the size and direction of migration flows, created new countries of destination and origin, changed the way people move. The current levels of human mobility have made it a priority for countries of origin and destination to cooperate more closely, and for more coherent policy making to connect the fields of migration and development.
The Global Forum on Migration and Development is a voluntary, informal and non-binding, consultative process, which provides a platform for governments to exchange ideas, experiences and ‘best practices’ regarding the interconnections between migration and development.
The First Global Forum on Migration and Development focused on the developmental impacts of migration and on issues of policy coherence. The Second Global Forum on Migration and Development put its emphasis on the human face of migration and the protection of migrant rights.
The Third Global Forum on Migration and Development, titled ‘Integrating Migration Policies into Development Strategies for the benefit of all’, attempts to do something different. It attempts to highlight ways to make migration a positive driver for development. Our thinking about incorporating migration into development is based on a strong belief that labour migration is likely to be most beneficial for all involved if it is propelled more by choice than by need. We would like to investigate the efficacy, or otherwise, of such a policy hypothesis.
We do not see development as a preventive measure against migration. We tend to see migration and development as complements, that simultaneously create better conditions of living for all people in this world. The Greek Presidency will contribute its best to this end. We invite you to actively participate in the roundtable discussions in order to reach a form of global consensus on the important issues of migration and development. We look forward to your contributions and points of view, that will help maximize the positive outcomes of this meeting. Human development should not just be the domain of the few, but a right for all.
Deputy Minister of Interior, Decentralisation
GFMD Athens 2009 Chair-in-Office