14th GFMD Summit to be held in Geneva January 23-25

Ambassador of France to Bangladesh Marie Masdupuy on Tuesday said that France is very much aware of the specific climate vulnerabilities of Bangladesh which is part of a region particularly exposed to climate change, environmental degradation and human mobility.

She also emphasized the importance of involving all concerned stakeholders to address those cross-cutting issues, including the private sector, academia, non-governmental organisations and the Youth.

The Ambassador was speaking at the National Preparatory Consultation ahead of the forthcoming 14th summit of Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

The co-chairs of the Bangladesh Migration Compact Taskforce; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Bangladesh, organized the event in Dhaka.

Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Abdusattor Esoev while drawing attention to the new area of focus of GFMD 2024 discourse prioritizing the social and cultural dimensions of migration highlighted "the need to recognize that migration choices are rooted in the social and cultural contexts and a 'culture of migration' in return also impacts the socio-economic and cultural fabric of sending and receiving communities".

The 2024 GFMD, under the chairmanship of the Government of France, will center around the theme "The impact of Climate Change on Human Mobility."

In alignment with the global theme and priority areas, the national consultation provided a forum to discuss challenges related to the impact of climate change on human mobility; migration rights; the role of diasporas in development; the promotion of social inclusion for labour migrants; enhancement of the perception of migration; and the implementation of multi-level governance.

Established in 2007, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) represents a state-led, informal and non-binding platform pivotal in shaping the global discourse on migration and development.

It serves as a flexible, multi-stakeholder arena where governments engage in comprehensive discussion on the multi-dimensional aspects, opportunities and challenges inherent to and promoting the link between migration and development.

The GFMD process facilitates collaborative efforts between governments, civil societies, the private sector, local and regional governments, youth, the UN system, inter-governmental organizations, and other pertinent stakeholders to delve into sensitive issues, develop consensus, propose innovative solutions, and share policy and practices.

During the inaugural session, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam highlighted that "GFMD has over the years helped manage many misperceptions about migration, explore innovative ways to talk about sensitive issues, and paved the way for adoption of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration."

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen cited the importance of climate-migration nexus as "Bangladesh continues to grapple with the challenges posed by climate change, leading to the emergence of a new dimension in migration notably climate induced migration".

Dr.Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment and co-chair of the Migration Compact Task Force in Bangladesh highlighted the "need to do more inclusive and comprehensive studies migration and climate change pertaining to Bangladesh to tailor the programmes and policies accordingly".

Following the inaugural session, the day-long consultation started with a plenary session on the "Impact of Climate Change on Human Mobility: Preventive Action, Humanitarian Action and Development" facilitated by Md. Shahidul Haque, Senior Advisor, IOM Bangladesh.

He highlighted the risks of the impact of adverse climate conditions on safe migration in Bangladesh.

He suggested that climate change and labour mobility should be brought under the framework of sustainable development to make the issue mainstreamed into national development.

Parallel working sessions over the day included topics on (1) Rights and Migration: Working to Ensure the Health, Safety and Rights of Migrants; (2) Diasporas: Actors of Economic, Social, and Cultural Development of Regions; (3) Labour Migration: Promoting the Economic Inclusion of Migrants; and (4) Improving the Perception of Migration in Public Opinion through Narratives, Culture, Emotion and Rational Discourse.

Representatives from government entities, development partners and civil society actively engaged in discussions addressing challenges in the context of Bangladesh and collaboratively framed recommendations for advocacy points aimed at optimizing the impact of migration on development.

Bangladesh will put forward these advocacy points forward at the GFMD in January 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the closing session, Abdulla Ali Abdulla Khaseif Al Hmoudi, Ambassador of United Arab Emirates to Bangladesh said "the UAE Presidency of COP28 attaches importance to the central theme of GFMD that is the impact of climate change on human mobility.

"I am looking forward to seeing the discussion surrounding global migration continue to develop during the COP28 and I hope all these interesting thoughts, ideas, and data continue to contribute positively to the next summit in Geneva in 2024," he said.

Mahjabeen Khaled, Secretary General, Bangladesh Parliamentarians' Caucus on Migration and Development stated that "Bangladesh, being at the forefront of migration-related discourse has made commendable strides in policy frameworks to address climate-induced mobility'.

She hoped that the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh are reflected positively in the upcoming Global Climax Risk Index.

Speaking on behalf of the civil society Syed Saiful Haque, Chairman of WARBE Development Foundation reiterated that the protection needs of migrants must be addressed through effective protection activities, particularly in vulnerable situations.

The rights of migrants must be safeguarded, irrespective of their migratory status, he said.

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