Marrakech will host the eleventh Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), co-hosted by Germany and Morocco, December 5-7.
Rabat – Based on the idea of bringing together actors—academics, civil society, decision makers—with separate agendas on migration and sustainable development, the forum aims to bring greater visibility to questions that are not generally raised in public debate around intra and transcontinental human mobility.
The forum’s theme, “Honoring International Commitments to Unlock the Potential of All Migrants for Development,” highlights the increasing need to move away from narratives that portray migrants as simply victims or a burden for their host societies.
The forum underscores a necessary shift from political discussions on migrants’ lives to a legal framework to implement policies and actions that acknowledge migrants’ contribution to development.
The “provisional program,” which organizers shared with Morocco World News, speaks volumes about the crucial importance that migration and migrants’ lives have become for policy making and public debate in the fast-moving and globalized realities of today. But also in Moroccan public debate.
From legal inclusion of migrants to improved treatment of undocumented immigrants, the forum’s organizers hope to offer a more comprehensive picture of the complex and sometimes confounding realities of global migration.
Discussions will center on devising a “Euro-African approach” to inspire “multi stakeholder action” while at the same time steering away from the “North-South paradigm.”
As debates rage on the North-South dimension of transnational mobility, the Marrakech forum aims to tackle migration-linked issues from a joint South-North and South-South platform that emphasizes shared responsibilities and common challenges. But immigration also advantages both host and native nations, suggested the program.
The diaspora’s social engagement and remittances, sustainable and expansive citizenship, and the interaction between brain drain and “brain gain” will be among the topics that the forum’s participants are set to tackle during the three-day course of the event.
The forum will close its doors with “official handover of chairmanship from Morocco and Germany to Ecuador.”
Just 3 days after the GFMD event, the city of Marrakech will also host a two-day UN-sponsored “intergovernmental conference on the global compact for migration.”
While having a more political focus than the GMFD, the intergovernmental conference upholds GFMD’s concerns with the legal and social inclusion of migrants in their host countries. According to the UN, the conference seeks to commit the international community to a global agenda on the protection of migrants’ rights.
The GFMD forum will take place at the Palmeraie Conference Center.