At the Friends of the Forum (FoF) meeting in Geneva, UCLG strived to find a place for local governments in the follow up and implementation of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM). During a two-days meeting, UCLG raised the voice for local governments in the consultations about the modalities of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) and praised the efforts of the Mayors Mechanism to spur local to national dialogue in the urban governance of migration.
Within the framework of the preparatory meetings for the annual Summit of the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) in November, UCLG participated on Tuesday 28 May at a consultation with stakeholders facilitated by the Permanent Representatives of Spain and Bangladesh at the UN on the modalities of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF). In this occasion, UCLG called for a dedicated space for local governments in the monitoring mechanism of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) to be launched by 2022. The need for LRAs to participate at the thematic review in order to ensure a truly multilevel dialogue on this process was also highlighted.
The zero draft of the IMRF modalities will be released in June and conversations with countries and stakeholders will continue during until July. In this regard, the IMRF calendar and deliberations are expected to be closely linked to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF).
Local conversations at the GFMD Summit
On behalf of the Mayors Mechanism (MM), UCLG took part at a session on the first Round Table that the GFMD Summit will dedicate to the urban governance of migration. The Chairs of Egypt and Switzerland asked the MM to frame the discussions through a background note to be drafted together with the International Organisation for Migration (OIM) and Open Society Foundations (OSF) as leading members of the MM Steering Committee.
In this roundtable on multilevel and multistakeholder policy coordination in arrival cities, the MM will assert the crucial role of local to national dialogue and the need to include cities in national migration strategies.
Regional discussions towards the Mayoral Forum
UCLG also announced the priorities of the MM in 2019 at the main event of the FOF Meeting on May 29. This roadmap seeks to reinforce the role of the Mayoral Forum in the GFMD and to increase presence of LRAs in the follow-up of the GCM. In this regard, UCLG welcomed the GFMD's interest in strengthening dialogue with local authorities and appreciated the Forum's support and recognition of the role of cities in the global governance of migration.
In view of the celebration of the GFMD Summit in Quito, UCLG expressed the MM’s willingness to bolster its presence in Latin America by gathering a more regional audience this year. In this regard, the MM received explicit support from representatives of UNICEF, the World Bank, UNITAR, the European Commission and the other two GFMD Mechanisms (Business and Civil Society) in achieving its objectives for this year.
On behalf of the MM, UCLG congratulated the United Arab Emirates for chairing the GFMD in 2020 and welcomed its intention to expand the space of Mayors, civil society and private sector in the annual work of the GFMD.
The next GFMD meeting will take place in Skhirat (Morocco) on 4 and 5 July. In this workshop on communication and narratives about migration, UCLG will emphasize the role of local authorities in promoting balanced and evidence-based approaches in front of fearful and divisive discourses about migration and migrants.