At least one thing is for sure: Mexico handed over the Chairmanship on December 3, so Switzerland will be host of the GFMD meeting(s) in 2011. But there is only scarce information regarding the concept of the government meeting – and none about the civil society component. It seems as if the Swiss will hold several “rounds” of meetings instead of a single big one. In Berne, Eduard Gnesa, Special Ambassador of Switzerland for International Migration announced that
“Switzerland intends to carry on and further develop the gains of the past four GFMD meetings by making the 2011 GFMD a year dedicated to action.” The subtext of this statement may well be that the GFMD so far had been “all talk and no action”. ..
On the GFMD website, it was specified that the Swiss Presidency “will continue to encourage interaction and cooperation, in particular through the two GFMD ad hoc Working Groups and the Platform for Partnerships. It will also initiate and oversee the GFMD assessment exercise.”
This is consistent with the Swiss stance so far – the country had been very active in the ad hoc working groups in the past years. While the three measures mentioned are certainly important to move the government component of the meeting forward, it is worthwhile to note that they are quite likely “government only” in scope. To my knowledge, there was no civil society participation in the ad hoc groups so far. And to be able to sign up for the “Platform for partnerships” (more on that upcoming), you have to be a government representative or endorsed by one.
Hopefully, Switzerland will go public with a more specific agenda soon and also address civil society concerns of being left outside the process in 2011. Time is apparently an issue, since the GFMD website states:
“Switzerland intends to convene the first round of GFMD meetings in the early part of 2011.”