GFMD RT4 group photo

The European Union is supporting the Ecuadorian Chairmanship of the 2019 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) through the MIgration EU eXpertise (MIEUX) Initiative, implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). The two-day regional workshop “Supporting arrival cities through policy coherence and multi-stakeholder partnerships”, co-organised by ICMPD, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru on 16 and 17 October in Lima is the last in a series of four regional workshops preceding the Quito Summit in November and will gather representatives from academia, national and local-level governments, International organisations and civil society to exchange experiences. 

The role of arrival cities for migrants and refugees

Cities on every continent find themselves at the forefront of managing the impact of migration as well as the promotion of inclusive, safe and sustainable urban environments. The governance of migration or, indeed, the governance of societies more broadly, is changing in recognition of the rapidly growing importance of the world’s cities to the workings of societies and their economies.

The term ‘arrival cities’ was coined to describe cities that function as places of opportunity and upward mobility for newcomers, that create enabling conditions for new arrivals to settle, connect, and belong. In the daily lives of refugees and migrants, city and local authorities tend to shape their experience of and relationship to the State. Some cities around the world have become successful arrival cities that offer newcomers opportunities for belonging and upward social mobility, while others struggle with the persistence of marginalised communities and segregation.

Reflecting on the role of cities in the GFMD process, Ambassador Santiago Chavez, current Chair, stated, “In the spirit of the New Urban Agenda, adopted in Quito in 2016, it is essential to facilitate a dialogue between different levels of government on how national and local authorities can work together within and across borders to facilitate the contributions of refugees and migrants to both urban and rural development. I am particularly glad for Mayors to add their perspectives to the GFMD discussions through the creation of the GFMD Mayors mechanism last year.”

Maria del Carmen Sacasa, UNDP Resident Representative in Peru, during her presentation, also emphasised the role of coordination among various actors: "Today, 1 in 7 people around the world are on the move. If we want to achieve Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, we must include a migration approach in our development processes," she said. "This starts by connecting this global ambition with local action. Host communities are usually symbols of resilience, but they need multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder support to activate their full potential towards social cohesion and the generation of integrated solutions for development”.

Inter-regional cooperation for improved international migration governance

Over the past few years, the European Union has substantially increased the funds allocated to the management of migratory flows both in the Latin American and Caribbean region and at the global level, in order to translate the needs of various actors into programmes on the ground. Diego Mellado, Ambassador of the European Union in Peru, stated, "The European Union will continue to support the affected countries of the region with the management of migration flows. The integration of migrants into the socio-economic reality of arrival cities is a priority approach in all the projects recently funded by the European Union, including the recently approved regional project "Comunidades Solidarias", in which Lima is included as one of the cities identified to achieve this objective.”

In relation to the Global Forum on Migration and Development, the workshop responds to one of Ecuador's strategic priorities to engage regional actors in a meaningful dialogue prior to the Quito Summit. A wide range of actors, including representatives of local and central governments, academia, civil society and international organizations, will come together to contribute, through these debates, to the elaboration of supporting documents for Roundtable 3.1 "Supporting cities of arrival through policy coherence and multi-stakeholder partnerships", co-chaired by the governments of Egypt and Switzerland and forming part of the 2019 GFMD agenda.

All participating institutions, under the auspices of the Forum, seek to exchange experiences and practices to explore which factors contribute to making some cities in Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union more welcoming and work as engines of inclusion and integration than others, taking into account factors such as migration crises, the levels of development of host countries and cities, as well as migration density. Border cities, which face specific integration challenges, will also be represented.

As Mr. Oleg Chirita, Head of Global Initiatives Programmes at ICMPD stated, “Cities are playing an increasingly prominent role in decision-making on migration governance. Their experiences in welcoming newcomers and fostering inclusive participation should inspire policy-makers seeking new solutions to migration management.”

MIEUX and the 2019 GFMD

In line with one of its main objectives, MIEUX is providing relevant European expertise and content support to the Government of Ecuador in relation to the GFMD 2019 process. Specifically, MIEUX is assisting Ecuador with organising a series of regional workshops that should not only contribute directly to the thematic round-tables of the Quito Summit and to the background papers but also function as standalone events that advance the global debate on migration and development. Targeting different stakeholders, such as local and central governments, academia, civil society, and regional stakeholders, this series of regional workshops aims at setting up a future-oriented regional model that could be utilised by future GFMD chairs in their respective regions.

Background information

Created in 2007, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is a state-led, informal and non-binding process, which helps shape the global debate on migration and development. It provides a flexible, multi-stakeholder space where governments can discuss the multi-dimensional aspects, opportunities, and challenges related to migration, development, and the link between these two areas. The GFMD process allows governments - in partnership with civil society, the private sector, the UN system, and other relevant stakeholders – to analyse and discuss sensitive issues, create consensus, pose innovative solutions, and share policy and practices.

MIEUX (MIgration EU eXpertise) is a peer-to-peer experts’ facility, which supports partner countries and regional organisations to better manage migration and mobility through the provision of rapid, tailor-made assistance upon request. Since 2009, over 100 countries across the world have benefited from MIEUX capacity building activities delivered by over 400 migration experts.  MIEUX is a joint initiative funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

UNDP The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with everyone in society to help build countries that can withstand crises and drive and sustain growth that improves the quality of life for all people. As the principal development agency of the United Nations, UNDP is in a unique position to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and implement Agenda 2030 through its work in 170 countries and territories. Efforts to find development solutions to displacement and migration are a key component of the UNDP support package.