There has been no official announcement yet, but since several sources have confirmed it to me, I can confidently report that Germany & Morocco plan to host the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in 2017 and 2018. This is the first time the Forum will be hosted in tandem by a primarily receiving country, Germany, and a long-standing emigration country, Morocco, which has also increasingly become a country of transit. This might also affect the further roadmap of the process, since
originally it looked like Bangladesh would host the GFMD in 2107 and then there might be another UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (UN-HLD) in New York in 2018. Because of these plans, I thought it was a misunderstanding when I first heard about Germany becoming a GFMD host in April this year. But at the moment the new roadmap seems to look something like that (very much open to change):
Right now: GFMD in Istanbul, from where I am writing this blogpost
June 2016: World Social Forum on Migration (WSFM) in São Paulo, Brazil
December 2016: GFMD in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There are also plans for an “all-out” Peoples Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights (PGA) meeting before the GFMD with the goal to have a major impact on the process
2017: GFMD is coming to Berlin, Germany – maybe with a pre-meeting in Rabat, Morocco
2018: GFMD in Rabat, Morocco – maybe with a pre-meeting in Berlin, Germany
2018: now that is the big question for me right now – will there still be a UN-HLD in 2018?
Thus, it looks like the GFMD is here to stay for the immediate future. Personally, I am looking very much forward to a German GFMD. For once, it might help to provide the country with a more comprehensive picture on migration, which is still predominantly viewed from a very narrow-minded national perspective. Apart from the “development scene” and some “triple-win” pilot projects, the debate on migration and development is widely unknown in Germany. Tellingly, some conservative media such as Die Welt or Focus thought they had landed a big coup with the headline “refugees from Germany send home 400 billion dollar a year”. Obviously, this is the estimated amount send home from all migrants worldwide, and I assume that refugees actually contribute only a small percentage to that sum (because they might it hard to find emplyoment/are not allowed to work, might use remittance channels that are not covered by this estimation etc.) But this unresponsible reporting led to the expected outraged comments in social media – where do they have that money from, all criminals etc. pp.
Secondly, it would present a great opportunity to connect German migrant organizations to global networks, rights-based political discourses etc. The major focus of migrant organizations in Germany seems to be on integration, which is their good right, of course, but the debate and advocacy would certainly benefit from talking about root causes of migration, human development, global conventions (the UN convention on migrant workers is largely unknown in Germany) etc.
As soon as I get more information on these upcoming processes, I will post updates in this post or in a separate post.