1. Axes – Priorities:
Greece, as Chair of the 3rd GFMD, aims at:
- A holistic approach of the multi-dimensional nature of global mobility and of the migration-development debate. It strives for that, by promoting the integration of migration policies into development strategies at national, regional and international level. It should be noted in this context that the European Pact on Migration and Asylum, adopted by the European Council on 15 October 2008, is the basis for an integrated European common migration policy, which takes into account the migration and development aspects. At the same time, mainstreaming of migration in development thinking is taking place globally, both in developed and developing countries, thus contributing to the achievement of the MDG’s.
- While ensuring thematic continuity with previous fora, the examination of new themes and today’s challenges are also important, in particular the impact of the global economic crisis on the migration-development interface.
- Enhancing the Forum process by fostering :
- Open, straightforward and productive dialogue.
- Exchange of good practices and policies.
- Identification of policy gaps.
- Facilitation of practical outcomes and policy initiatives.
- Encouraging the elaboration of specific proposals that can be integrated into the national migration and development policies and programmes of the participating countries
It is in the light of all the above, that the Greek Chair suggested “INTEGRATING MIGRATION POLICIES INΤΟ DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL” as the overarching theme of the 3rd GFMD.
2. Greek Themes:
It is central to the Greek theme to put the focus and emphasis on development in the migration and development nexus as a key to ensure that, if people move, it is not out of necessity. The goal is to strengthen the initiative made by the U.N. General Secretary. That is, to address the connection between the root causes of migration and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In this context, discussions will be held on how to improve mainstream migration in development planning at a national and international level and how to engage diasporas in development policies and programs.
Furthermore, within the overarching theme of the Greek Chair, new issues will be analysed, such as the inter-relationship between migrant integration, reintegration and development in the light of new patterns of migrant movement (such as circular migration). Special attention will be given to human rights issues in the context of inclusion, protection and acceptance of migrants. Lastly, a progress report will be formulated on policy and institutional coherence and discussion on latest policy based on relevant data and research results. In this framework, a discussion will also take place on the progress made by countries in their efforts to link migration and development through the development of regional frameworks and inter-regional processes.
These themes constitute the thematic framework of the three Roundtables of the Forum.
The themes were formulated on the basis of the results produced by a thematic survey conducted by the Greek Chair in January 2009. The survey that was submitted to the Steering Group member-countries offered a number of options for each roundtable session. In continuation, the survey results were discussed at several of the Steering Group (25th February 2009/1st April) and Friends of the Forum (2nd of April) meetings. In the light of these discussions, the themes were revised and finally endorsed by the participating countries. All national focal points received the final version and countries were invited to participate in the different inter-governmental working groups of developed and developing countries, Working groups are set up to prepare the documents which will guide discussions held at the Roundtable theme sessions. For the preparation of the Roundtable discussions, the Greek Chair continues herewith the participative and group approach, as fashioned in Brussels and continued in Manila. During the GFMD, the three Roundtables, as in previous meetings, will meet in breakout sessions. In total, there will be seven sessions organized in Athens.
EU member-states were informed of the Greek themes and other general issues, during the E.U. Justice and Internal Affairs Council meeting (Luxembourg, 06.04.09).
3. Brief session topics presentation:
The theme: «Integration of migration policies into development strategies for the benefit of all» will remain the central point of all discussions.
Roundtable 1: How to make the migration – development nexus work for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), will focus on the way migration can be associated with the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals and governments’ national development plans, aid policies or partnerships underpinning this pursuit. It will take into consideration that migration is not a substitute for development, nor is development a substitute for migration. This Roundtable will include the following 3 sessions:
Session 1.1: Mainstreaming migration in development planning -Key actors, key strategies, key actions. This session addresses how national and international strategies for development, poverty reduction and economic growth take account of migration for the benefit of all parties, particularly developing countries. It should also identify how the implementation of these strategies can contribute to achieving the MDGs.
Session 1.2: Engaging Diasporas and migrants in development policies and programs- their role? Their constraints? This session builds upon the discussions that begun in Belgium and Manila on how to strengthen the development of the positive impact of diaspora’s initiatives. Special focus will be given on the partnerships that can be established for the achievement of the MDG’s, through the transfer of knowledge and of financial flows. It will also examine what motivates diaspora’s to participate in investment programmes, business and trade ventures in their country of origin.
Session 1.3: Addressing the root causes of migration through development, specifically in light of the current global economic crisis. This session will explore the impact of the economic crisis on migrants as well as on the push and pull factors related to the migration and development nexus.
Roundtable 2, titled: Migrant integration, reintegration and circulation for development, will compliment the development orientation of Roundtable 1 by addressing policies that secure the rights and situation of regular migrants- long term, temporary or circular migrants- while they reside in the host country but also upon their return to their country of origin, in order to maximize their development potential for the benefit of the countries of origin.
Session 2.1: Inclusion, protection and acceptance of migrants in society – linking human rights and migrant empowerment for development. This session will explore the links between the creation of a protective and enabling environment for migrants, their inclusion in the socio-economic tissue of the host countries, and their contribution to the development of their countries of origin. It will examine in particular the challenges set by new patterns of mobility, temporary and circular migration, in these areas.
Session 2.2: Reintegration and circular migration – effective for development? This session will look at policies of reintegration of returning migrants, either permanent or within the framework of the new patterns of temporary or circular migration, in order to enhance their contribution to the development of the country of origin.
Roundtable 3, titled Policy and Institutional Coherence and Partnerships, will build upon the discussions initiated in Brussels and continued in Manila, in relation to issues of data gathering, policy coherence, regional co-operation and dialogue frameworks. The Greek Chair intends to put the emphasis on practice oriented outcomes in view of the existing abundance of data analysis and research tools, and on the concepts of institutional and policy coherence themselves which took place in previous GFMD meetings. The Roundtable is structured into two sessions:
Session 3.1: Policy and Institutional Coherence – Latest Data and Research Findings. This session will discuss concrete progress and evolving government practices in terms of policy coherence. It will discuss assessment mechanisms and results in terms of policy and practice, focus on mechanisms for effective data collection and share information on the latest data and research findings and priorities.
Session 3.2: Regional and Inter-regional Processes and Fora. This session will review progress made on regional and inter-regional processes, with the intent of linking migration and development concerns more productively and to assess how these activities can be relevant in the GFMD context. It will give representatives the opportunity to present their recent activities regarding such processes (e.g. Euro-Africa Conference on Migration and Development, South American Conference on Migration, Development and Human Rights, Meeting of the regional co-operation representatives in Bangkok etc.).
A ‘Special Session on the Future of the GFMD’ will take place at the end of the government meeting. It will discuss general and strategic issues related to the GFMD, such as an appraisal (and, if need be, an update) of its operational structure and its operating modalities, its relationship with the UN, its co-operation with the Global Migration Group, the relationship with Civil Society and so forth. It will also make an assessment of the operations of the Support Unit.