POST TIME: 13 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 December, 2016 12:07:38 AM
Migration needs to be ‘governed globally’

Migration needs to be ‘governed globally’

The three-day ninth summit meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) concluded yesterday with an understanding among the participants that time has come to govern migration globally as the  purpose of safe and orderly migration is not being served bilaterally. “Everyone is saying that it’s time to regulate migration globally. It cannot be done bilaterally any longer. There are always limitations in bilateral negotiations. Something new should be done,” Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, the Chair of GFMD 2016, told reporters after the conclusion of the summit at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday.  “If a global system of governance cannot be ensured it will never be possible to get rid of the problems related to high cost abuse and exploitation,” he said. “There is no global regime to govern migration. The United Nations does not participate in full-fledged manner. Everyone has said it’s a big gap and there is a need for global governance,” he added, describing the summit as very successful. The Foreign Secretary also said that Bangladesh has raised the global governance issue very strongly. “We thought there will a big altercation on this. But, you will be glad to know that everybody has said that it is necessary and this issue should be included in the Bangladesh-proposed Compact, he said.
There will be negotiations in coming days about the nature of the Compact and it is expected to be adopted by the States by 2018, Haque said.
 The zero-drafting of the compact is likely to begin in the middle of the next year, he added. The Foreign Secretary described migration as a geopolitical issue, saying that migration is no longer an issue regarding population and labour. “It (migration) cannot be politicised and securitised. It has to be dealt as a geopolitical issue. Otherwise, the governance we are talking about will never come,” he said.
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali attended as chief guest the closing session of the summit, participated by nearly 1,000 delegates from 130 countries. This has been the biggest event organised by the government in Bangladesh, claimed the Foreign Secretary. During the course of the summit, debate was 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) were held under sub-theme ‘Economics of migration and development’.
Roundtables 3 and 4 focused 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 dealt 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’. Prior to the summit, a two-day civil society programme took place on December 8 and 9 where civil society representatives gave their deliberations from their perspectives. The report of the civil society was submitted in the summit meeting for consideration. And, for the first time, the business community has been involved with the process and their opinions were taken into account. In the Chair’s summary, it has been stated that this year’s annual GFMD meeting had three broad strands - the economics of migration, the sociology of migration and the governance of migration, captured in six roundtable sessions and a number of thematic meetings that supported the work of the roundtables.