Strong messages at the Global Forum on Migration and Development, operational solutions debated, sharing and learning…  The leadership of governments is urgently needed for the implementation of solutions based on values framed by human rights and evidence.  Children on the move and their families cannot wait!

Following the two Civil Society Days (12th-13th October) of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, prime Minister of Turkey H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu inaugurated the Forum on 14th October which brings together participants from 150 countries and high level officials of international organizations.

See the opening speeches :

by prime Minister of Turkey, UN Deputy Secretary-General, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Alliance of Civilizations High Representative, and UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship as well as report from Ignacio Packer, Civil Society Chair. 

In this opening ceremony, speaking to 500 government delegates from more than 140 countries of which 30 Ministers and Vice-Ministers, some 300 leaders of civil society worldwide and high-level delegates from UN and international agencies, Ignacio Packer, Chair for Civil Society and Secretary General of Terre des Hommes, spoke of choices that need to be made in policies and practices on migration and development.

“Civil society emphatically rejects building blocks of migration policy based on prejudice and fear, of walls, barbed wires and prisons, of stereotypes, of ‘us and them’.  In fact those are not the only choices possible!”

“Choices need to build on evidence and values: on reality not assumptions, and values centered upon full respect for human rights of migrants.  Choices needed to build a positive legacy for our planet for generations to come”.

The first day of the Forum is common to Governments and civil society while the two following days (15th and 16th October) are governments only with some civil society delegates invited.

Civil society is directly engaged in the state-led GFMD, principally through recommendations and action plans put forward to governments during the Common Space.  Civil Society and governments discussed solutions around the rise of xenophobia, the challenges of migrants in crisis and partnerships for decent migrant labor recruitment and employment.

In his closing remarks of the GFMD 2015 Common Space, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration by Peter Sutherland, referring to the fact that “refugees are not the whole story.  Migrants are”, called governments to act.

“What it requires now is practical expression through governments’ action and not merely saying how terrible it is…   This requires governments to deliver and that is what we are all here to do something about.”

Ignacio Packer who was invited as chair of civil society to attend the Government program, commented after the two days:

“No surprises, no secrets.  It makes sense to increase the common space between civil society and governments and to fill the space at the table with the private sector.” On the concern for children, Ignacio Packer stated: “Never before has the concern for children in the context of migration been so present in the debates of the GFMD.  Either looking at child rights perspectives in all areas of work or as a specific group.  Not only as a “vulnerable group” but also as a group full of potential that needs opportunities to play an active role in society”.

Ambassador Samsar delivered the initial conclusions of the Turkish GFMD Chairmanship, followed by the statement of the GFMDincoming GFMD 2016 Chair-in-Office Bangladesh, as delivered by Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque.

Deputy Foreign Minister Koru underscored the need for continued partnerships, as governments are not the only decision-makers in migration. He concluded, “Employers, recruiters, diaspora groups, and most importantly migrants themselves are among the many actors who shape the reality of migration pattern and outcomes. The GFMD is one of the few places where they come together to share concerns and work on practical proposals. It is one of the most valuable qualities of the GFMD, and we must build on it together.”


Read Ignacio Packer’s speech as Chair of the Civil Society Days of the 2015 Global Forum on Migration and Development EnglishFrench | Spanish

Read the overview of the GFMD Civil Society Days

Read the overview of  the opening Ceremony of the GFMD

See documentation under