The session hosted by the Mayors Mechanism of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) highlighted the need for participation of local and regional governments in the development of migration policies, review of often restrictive national legal frameworks, and direct access by local and regional governments to international funding, in the particular context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The session on “Enabling local solutions for inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery” was part of the 13th Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). The GFMD convened under the central theme, “The Future of Human Mobility: Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Development.”
Hosted by the GFMD Mayors Mechanism, the session on enabling local solutions discussed local-to-national partnerships for migration policy, as well as identify priorities for joint action, barriers to success, and solutions for greater collaboration on migration policymaking going forward during the COVID-19 era. Session speakers will brought to the table their expertise with response and recovery efforts, with the aim of working so migration becomes “a source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development in our globalized world” (Art. 8 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration).
The Mayors Mechanism was established in 2018. Co-steered by United Cities and Local Governments, the Mayors Migration Council and the International Organization for Migration, it aims to include local and regional authorities within the GFMD process, bringing their voices and expertise into State-led deliberations, and intensifying the dialogue between different levels of government and different stakeholder groups.
Created in 2007, the GFMD is a government-led, informal and non-binding process, which helps shape the global debate on migration and development. It is not formally part of the UN system, although it coordinates with it in a number of ways. For example, the GFMD provides a flexible, multi-stakeholder space where national governments, in formal consultation with local and regional governments, civil society, the private sector, the UN system, and other relevant stakeholders, can discuss multi-dimensional aspects, opportunities and challenges related to migration, development, and the link between these two areas. The GFMD was instrumental in ensuring the inclusion of migration in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and paved the way for recent global political agreements on migration, including the 2017 New York Declaration and the 2018 Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The GFMD is supported by a Steering Group of 28 member countries and is organized under a rotating State Chairmanship, with the United Arab Emirates serving as current Chair.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event took place online on 22 January from 16:00 – 18:00 CET.