GFMD Civil Society Days: concrete solutions from civil society to governments

Geneva, 23 June 2017 - The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), a government-led process aimed at advancing understanding and cooperation on the interlinkages between migration and development, will start on June 28th in Berlin, Germany. The Civil Society Days (CSD) – organised by ICMC through the Migration and Development Civil Society Network (MADE) – will take place on June 29th and July 1st, inputting concrete suggestions into the discussions of governments, and discussing shared priorities and commitments among civil society leaders. On June 30th, almost a full day of ‘Common Space’ meetings will allow for formal mechanisms of interaction between civil society and governments’ representatives.

Civil Society Days of the GFMD in Bangladesh, 2016.The CSD will kick-off with an event on the evening of June 28th at the Brandenburg Gate, to reflect on the theme of ‘Breaking down Walls’. Taking place in a city as symbolic as Berlin, the event will be a moment of reflection on the walls being put up and existing worldwide but also a moment of hope, remembering how ordinary citizens coming together were able to break down the Berlin Wall.

The CSD are an opportunity for civil society leaders the world over to discuss matters of extreme importance on the topics of migration and development. This year’s theme, chosen by the CSD International Steering Committee, is “Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration Now; the mechanics of a Compact worth agreeing to”, focusing entirely on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The event will look at how to build on the strong commitments to rights and obligations, as outlined in the New York Declaration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to achieve a successful implementation of those commitments in the Global Compact.

The programme of this year’s CSD counts over 50 speakers for plenary debates, working sessions, and side events. Ms. Wies Maas and Ms. Berenice Valdez Rivera will be respectively the Chair and Co-Chair of the 2017 CSD, leading the discussions with their strong expertise in advocating for the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced people. Wies Maas currently works for Oxfam Novib on global displacement and human development and coordinated the Civil Society Action Committee for the UN Summit on Refugees in 2016, after having worked with ICMC and MADE for many years. Berenice Valdez Rivera works for the Institute for Women in Migration, promoting the rights of migrant women and their families through integration projects and advocacy with governments.

Over 400 participants are expected to take part in the CSD, representing all regions of the world. The vast majority of participants are civil society representatives, of which almost half are representatives from migrant and refugee organizations or members of the diaspora.

Read an interview with Ms. Wies Maas about the upcoming Civil Society Days 2017.
Read the Concept Note for the Civil Society Days 2017.

Download a list of background documents (including the programme) for the GFMD Civil Society Days 2017.