POST TIME: 9 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM
9th global migration summit tomorrow

9th global migration summit tomorrow

Several hundred delegates from more than a hundred countries hasve started gathering for the three-day-long ninth summit meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) that begins at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre tomorrow.
The theme of this year’s summit, to be chaired by Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, is ‘Migration that Works for Sustainable Development for All: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda’.
The main objective of the summit meeting to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from December 10-12 is to advance on the way to establish a world migration regime that will ensure overall welfare of the migrants, officials concerned of the foreign ministry have told The Independent.
About 750 delegates from nearly 125 countries, including more than 20 ministers and 250-300 civil society representatives, are attending the ‘biggest ever government-organised event’ in Bangladesh, they said.
They, however, could not confirm if Myanmar is participating in this global event. Describing the event as extremely important, the foreign secretary said that the summit meeting will discuss the establishment of the regime to effectively handle migration issues globally.
Although, there is an existence of a convention on refugees, there is no such global mechanism or regime to deal with the migration issues, he added.
The meeting has got extra importance as it is coinciding with the ongoing migration crisis in Europe, forcing the Europeans and Americans to think about it from a global perspective, said the foreign secretary.
According to the foreign ministry officials, the hosting of the event will portray Bangladesh as a country that is capable of leading the migration-related issues.
Although a global event, it will also provide Bangladesh with the opportunity to negotiate better deals for the migrants with the receiving countries, they said, adding that one does not need to be reminded that Bangladesh’s economy to a great extent is dependent on the remittance sent by about 80 lakhs migrants.
“Look, it’s a global event to be participated by many countries. Bangladesh’s exposure regarding migration in the word is already good. It will be even better through the summit,” a top government official, who has vast experience on migration issues, told The Independent. “With the enhanced exposure, Bangladesh will be in much better position to deal migration issues bilaterally with the sending countries,” he said.
The officials also pointed out that the organisation of such a big event will also enhance Bangladesh’s image on the face of the globe with regard to security that was somehow affected after the July one terrorist attack on a Gulshan restaurant.  
They said that the summit meeting will extensively discuss a global compact on migration proposed by Bangladesh in April 2015 and a summit was held on this compact in September this year.
The compact is expected to be adopted in 2018 after rigorous negotiations and consultations within the states and among the states, they added.
International Labour Organisation (ILO) Director General Guy Ryder, International Organisation of Migration (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for International Migration Peter Sutherland and UN Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbu will attend the summit.
Prior to the summit, a two-day civil society programme is scheduled for December 8 and 9 and the event went underway yesterday with civil society representatives are giving deliberations from their perspectives.
The report of the civil society will be submitted in the summit meeting for consideration, said the officials.
They informed that for the first time the business community has been involved with the process and their opinions will also be taken into account.
According to the concept paper of the ninth summit meeting, debate will be structured around three sub-themes, spread over six roundtables in three days.
Roundtables one and two on lowering costs of migration and connectivity and migration (people to people contact) will be held under sub-theme ‘Economics of migration and development’.
Roundtables 3 and 4 will focus on migration, diversity and harmonious societies and protection of the human rights of migrants in all situations with the sub-theme ‘Sociology of migration and development while roundtables 5 and six will deal with migrants in situations of crises: conflict climate change and disasters caused by natural hazards and principles, processes and institutions for orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration under the sub-theme ‘governance of migration and development’.