There was general agreement from governments and from UN agencies that the more informal GFMD process had so far provided a successful vehicle for improvement in migration policy, through collaboration and the sharing of best practices. However, there were also some concerns raised, for example, the Representative for Micronesia asked that there be more consideration of climate-driven migration, and NGO representatives advocated increased discussion of vulnerable groups such as children, as well as for increased involvement of non-governmental voices in the discussions at the GFMD.
Meanwhile, OHCHR’s Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, François Creppeau, summed up some of these concerns by expressing a worry that too much emphasis on development throughout the international discussions relating to migration risked that migrants be seen primarily as sources as development rather than first and foremost as human beings. He continued:
‘In the absence of a strong normative framework it can be an exchange of bad practices’.
UNU-GCM plans to attend the next GFMD, in May 2014. In the preparatory events and during the Forum itself, the host, the Government of Sweden, will have an important task of insuring that best practices, with human rights at their centre, are promoted and shared. We look forward to making further updates on the progress of this in the future.