Common Space & Government Days

Common Space and Government Days 2017

Common Space

The theme and discussions of Common Space this year were closely linked to those of the CSD. 20 additional hours were spent with governments in this space, which had a new structure to accommodate three parallel ‘framing sessions’ exploring possible common understandings of “safe, orderly and regular”, followed by seven ‘focus sessions’ where concrete mechanisms of implementation relating to specific issues were discussed.
For an overview, take a look at the Common Space Programme and the speeches by Civil Society Chair Wies Maas and Civil Society Children Rapporteur Milena Franke.

Reports from Framing Sessions

Reports from Focus Sessions

GFMD government programme and civil society feedback

To mark the direction of their GFMD 2017-2018 Co-Chairmanship, the Governments of Germany and Morocco launched the 2017 Concept Paper in March. The programme for this year’s Government Days of the GFMD, with the overall theme “Towards a Global Social Contract on Migration and Development”, aims to balance the interests between migrants and their countries of origin, transit and destination, within the framework of safe, regular and orderly migration. The Roundtable themes are focused directly on migration-related Sustainable Development Goals and particularly on development of the Global Compact for Migration resulting from the September 2016 High-Level Summit, to which the GFMD is intended to contribute.

Civil Society Input: At the invitation of the GFMD Co-Chairs, the Civil Society International Steering Committee (ISC) for the GFMD, consisting of over 37 NGO leaders working on migration and development, has provided a joint feedback to this Concept Paper. While the ISC welcomed the overall theme of a “social contract” and the eagerness to include civil society in the discussions, members also expressed concern on some elements, such as on the space given to migrant return and containment in the draft programme, and the relatively limited reference to the human rights of migrants or states collective responsibility to protect those on the move.

Friends of the Forum

The first GFMD governments Friends of the Forum meetings for GFMD 2017 took place on 1 and 2 February in Geneva. Similar to previous years, ICMC was invited to attend, in its function as GFMD Civil Society Coordinator. ICMC’s Head of Policy John K. Bingham, reported on civil society activities in the 2016 GFMD and towards the 2017 forum, to the 120 government representatives and 12 UN agencies present. Bingham introduced his report stating: We can hardly think of a more important moment these past 10 years for the GFMD to show its value than to step up to the chaos in migration and in politics today—with solutions.  And then later, referring to the Governments’ Draft Concept Paper: A bright red line for many in civil society is IF discussions—inside or outside the GFMD—or development policies would take the step into conditioning development aid on migration control or containment.

Based on the governments’ Draft Concept Paper and the subsequent civil society feedback, and keeping the process to develop a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration very much in mind, civil society is currently preparing its own programme for the GFMD CSD 2017.