The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)

The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is a recent initiative of the United Nations Member States to address the migration and development interconnections in practical and action-oriented ways. It is an informal, non-binding, voluntary and government-led process that marks the culmination of more than a decade of international dialogue on the growing importance of the linkages between migration and development. It reflects the progressive acknowledgement of the limits of a strictly national approach to migration questions and implications at global level in an intergovernmental framework. In view of the societal implications of these issues, civil society representatives have also been involved from the outset in this process.

The objectives of the GFMD are:

  1. To provide a venue for policy-makers and high-level policy practitioners to informally discuss relevant policies and practical challenges and opportunities of the migration-development nexus, and engage with other stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, experts and migrant organizations to foster practical and action-oriented outcomes at national, bilateral and international level;
  2. To exchange good practices and experiences, which can be duplicated or adapted in other circumstances, in order to maximize the development benefits of migration and migration flows;
  3. To identify information, policy and institutional gaps necessary to foster synergies and greater policy coherence at national, regional and international levels between the migration and development policy areas;
  4. To establish partnerships and cooperation between countries, and between countries and other stakeholders, such as international organizations, diaspora, migrants, academia etc., on migration and development;
  5. To structure the international priorities and agenda on migration and development.

The 9th meeting will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 10-12 December 2016 under the overarching theme “Migration that works for Sustainable Development of all: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda”. This year’s Forum is focused on three main pillars: economics, sociology and governance of migration and development. The overarching theme is based on a ‘SDG Plus’ approach, i.e. to incorporate and advance, in the context of deliverables, a range of migration specific issues, ideas and elements that have already been recognized inter alia in the two UN General Assembly High level Dialogues on International Migration and Development (2007, 2013) and in various other dialogues/platforms, global consultative processes and outcome documents over the past decade.


GFMD At A Glance

GFMD starts off formally through the UN High Level Dialogue held in 2006. Since 2007 the GFMD dialogue has been taking place in an individual country every year. It was organized at the Brussels of Belgium in 2007 for the first time, and with that consistency this year Bangladesh is going to host the 9th event of GFMD at Dhaka.

The past eight years of the GFMD have seen the organization of an annual meeting, following more or less the same format, although each meeting has included its own distinctive and innovative elements. Generally the annual GFMD meetings had two components:

  • The Civil Society Days (CSD) meeting which preceded the government meeting. In Belgium, it lasted one day, while in the Philippines, Greece and Mexico the CSD were organized for two days. It provides a platform for discussion among representatives of Civil Society, representatives of NGOs, migrant associations, diaspora organizations, and representatives of trade unions and the private sector that are associated with, or interested in migration and development issues.
  • The Government Meeting, which is open to all UN Member States and Observers. In general, participants in the Government Meeting are high-level policy makers and practitioners on the ground, who can discuss informally the complex issues relating to migration and development.

Both the civil society and the government meetings produce a set of outcomes and recommendations each year. The CSD report is usually submitted at the opening of the government meeting, to signal the issues that civil society deem most important for the governments to discuss. Joint meetings (interface) between representatives of Civil Society and government delegates since Manila GFMD have also served as a means of converging both events. The purpose of the interface is to discuss the outcomes of the CSD meetings with government representatives

Year-wise GFMD

In July of 2007 Belgium undertook the organization of the 1st GFMD in Brussels.

2nd Meeting of the GFMD-Manila, Philippines
The second GFMD took place in Manila, Philippines in October 2008.  The central theme was “Protecting and Empowering Migrants for Development”.

3rd Meeting of the GFMD
The third GFMD took place in Athens in November 2009.

4th Meeting of the GFMD

The 4th GFMD held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in November 2010.

5th Meeting of the GFMD

The fifth meeting of the GFMD took place on 29 November-2 December 2011, in Switzerland pursuing the theme of “Taking Action on Migration and Development – Coherence, Capacity and Cooperation”.

6th Meeting of the GFMD

With the theme of “Enhancing the Human Development of Migrants and their Contribution to the Development of Communities and States”, the sixth annual GFMD Concluding Summit Meeting in 2012 was held in Mauritius on 19-22 November 2012.

7th Meeting of the GFMD

The 7th Summit Meeting held in Sweden on 14-16 May 2014 with the theme of “Unlocking the potential of migration for inclusive development”.

8th Meeting of GFMD

The 8th meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey on 14-16 October 2015. The overarching theme of the Turkish Chairmanship was “Strengthening Partnerships: Human Mobility for Sustainable Development.”

9th GFMD meeting is going to be organized in BANGLADESH in this year 2016.


WARBE DF has been involved in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) since GFMD’s creation in 2007.  WARBE initiates National Network for Migration in Bangladesh and advocates at Global Forum on Migration & Development. Representatives of WARBE have participated in each forum, beginning with the inaugural forum in Belgium in 2007.

Since then WARBE has remained an active participant in the GFMD. Since its beginning, WARBE attends all GFMD meetings in abroad. Syed Saiful Haque, chairman of WARBE, is also participating in 9th GFMD meeting as a co- chair of the civil society coordination committee. Read more,

Some of the GFMD recommendations that have been implemented by WARBE DF:

Providing relevant information to migrants at all stages of the migration process;

Taking into account the different needs and experiences of male and female migrants;

Respecting human dignity and fundamental rights, regardless of the residence status of migrants and diaspora members;

Conducting targeted research on costs-benefits and impacts of regular and irregular migration;

Providing financial literacy programs and educating migrants about the financial services available to them;

Establishing partnerships and facilitating cooperation both between nations and between nations and other stakeholders in matters relating to migration and development.