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Global Forum

Global Forum on Migration and Development:
Switzerland holded the chairmanship for the 2011 Global Forum


Closing address by State Secretary Peter Maurer, 02.12.2011 (fr)
 Media release, 01.12.2011
 Speech of Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga , 01.12.2011 
 Opening statement by Ambassador Eduard Gnesa, Chair-in-office , 01.12.2011 (fr)
Photo album
Website of the Forum
Nigeria and Switzerland jointly organize a conference on migration , 18.10.2011

Sustainable development Post-2015


Switzerland actively participates in the search for universally valid development and sustainability goals for the post-2015 period. Migration as a global phenomenon plays an important role to reach development goals.

International Dialogue on Migration

migrationsdialog_web.jpgAs an international phenomenon, migration requires international governance and cooperation between political and governmental agencies and international organizations. As a member of multilateral bodies in this field, Switzerland is committed to ensuring that civil society plays a stronger part in the debates.

More active international dialogue on migration goes hand in hand with a paradigm shift in migration policy. Migration is no longer viewed from a national standpoint alone, but seen as a global phenomenon that must be addressed in partnership.

UN Commission on International Migration
This development is reflected in the rising number of initiatives aimed at better coordination and cooperation on migration. It began with the closure by the UN of the Global Commission on International Migration in 2005. Its mandate was to provide the framework for a global response to the challenges of international migration.
Migration was debated for the first time at ministerial level at the 61st UN General Assembly in September 2006. Discussions covered the link between migration and development, labour migration, migrants' rights, and the fight against human trafficking and people smuggling. A further ministerial-level dialogue on "Migration and Development" will be held within the UN in 2013.

Key facts

Every year, more than 5 million people cross international borders to settle in a developed country. The number of those who move to another developing nation or within their own country is much higher, although it is virtually impossible to make an accurate estimate. 

The Global Forum on Migration and Development
The Global Forum on Migration and Development is the most comprehensive body at governmental level. It came into being following the recommendations of the UN ministerial dialogue in 2006. It is intended to facilitate exchange and issue-specific cooperation between states and other parties with an interest in migration and development. The Forum is held once a year, with the role of chairman rotating between its members. A meeting of stakeholders from civil society is held in parallel. 2011 Switzerland holds the chairmanship.

The Global Migration Group
There are countless international organizations addressing migration issues. Since 2007, the most important of these have been brought together in the newly-founded Global Migration Group. They include, for example, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Bank and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Current Challenges
Industrialized countries are faced with a dichotomy between restrictive national immigration policies, and their high demand for unskilled workers. Rising migrant numbers cause enormous difficulties for poorer nations. Local authorities are often unable to cope, and are not able to offer the proper levels of protection. Improving local capacities is an important step in turning migration into an opportunity for development. Multilateral discussions, in which traditional development organizations are also playing a growing part, foster bridge-building between home, transit and host countries, and can help to make the most of migration's positive potential.

The SDC focus

At the international level, the SDC supports discussions about institutional coherence in migration policy, and the impact of the latter on efforts to promote growth. As part of the Swiss delegation, it is committed within a number of bodies to closer international policy dialogue. Working alongside the FDFA's Political Affairs Division IV, the Federal Office for Migration and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the SDC plays an active role in the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD). Since 2009, it has shared with Morocco the chair of a particularly active working group tackling the issue of institutional coherence, data and research. Furthermore, Switzerland is committed to a stronger civil society presence within the GFMD.

Theme contact:Beata Godenzi

Additional Information and Documents

  • Migration and Development
    A mapping study of the policies and practices of eleven European countries and the European Commission
    Download (PDF, 1124 KB) [en]  
  • Migration: A force for development
    Global Brief July 2013
    Download (PDF, 357 KB) [de]   [en]   [fr]