The 9th meeting was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 10-12 December 2016 under the overarching theme Migration that works for Sustainable Development of all: Towards a Transformative Migration Agenda”. This year’s Forum is focused on three main pillars: economics, sociology and governance of migration and development. The overarching theme is based on a ‘SDG Plus’ approach, i.e. to incorporate and advance, in the context of deliverables, a range of migration specific issues, ideas and elements that have already been recognized inter alia in the two UN General Assembly High level Dialogues on International Migration and Development (2007, 2013) and in various other dialogues/platforms, global consultative processes and outcome documents over the past decade.

The 8th meeting was held in Istanbul, Turkey on 14-16 October 2015 around the central theme Strengthening Partnerships: Human Mobility for Sustainable Development”  signalling recognition that international migration cannot be addressed effectively by any one country alone, or by states without the cooperation of other stakeholders—including international organizations, civil society, the private sector and migrants themselves. It also emphasized that mobility within the right policy framework is a positive factor for development.

The 7th meeting was held in Stockholm, Sweden on 14 to 16 May 2014 around the central theme “Unlocking the Potential of Migration for Inclusive Development.” Since 2007 to 2014, representatives of more than 160 Member-States and UN Observers, as well as over 45 international organizations have participated in the annual government meeting of the GFMD, while between 200 to 400 varied actors have participated in the Civil Society Days. The Swedish Chair aimed to launch a new, second phase of the GFMD by having a more development-focused, dynamic and durable Forum. The meeting was composed of plenary sessions, six Roundtables, a session on the Future of the Forum, and a PfP session. Discussions at the ‘Common Space’ included participants from Civil Society, the private sector, international organizations and governments.

The 6th meeting was held in Port Louis, Mauritius on 19 to 22 November 2012 around the central theme “Enhancing the Human Development of Migrants and their Contribution to the Development of Communities and States.” It placed emphasis on achievable outcomes for the Forum’s future, the unique needs and challenges of Africa, and engaging civil society, diaspora and the private sector.  It addressed these objectives using the themes of labour mobility, mainstreaming migration into development planning and migrant protection in three roundtable sessions, a more intimate format for the Common Space dialogue, and a Working Session on the Platform for Partnerships. GFMD 2012 also completed Phase Two of the GFMD Assessment exercise and presented delegation heads with recommendations from the Consolidated Assessment Paper during the Special Session on the Future of the Forum.

Switzerland organized and hosted the 5th GFMD in Geneva on 1-2 December 2011The Swiss GFMD held fourteen thematic meetings built upon the content and the key outcomes of previous GFMD meetings and supported by the Chair’s flagship theme "Taking Action on Migration and Development-Coherence Capacity and Cooperation." These thematic themes were structured under the three cluster themes of GFMD 2011 - labour mobility and development (cluster I), addressing irregular migration through coherent migration and development strategies (cluster II) and tools for evidence- based migration and development policies (cluster III). The results of these thematic meetings were reported during the 2011 GFMD Concluding Debate. GFMD 2011 also convened the first phase of the GFMD Assessment exercise which produced a draft Assessment Report [ ES | FR ] based on the responses of 66 governments and 10 GFMD observers.

Mexico chaired the 4th meeting of the GFMD which was held in Puerto Vallarta on 8 to 11 November 2010 around the central theme "Partnerships for Migration and Human Development -- shared prosperity, shared responsibility." It focused on the concept of partnerships, introduced the new Common Space format of debates in plenary between governments and civil society, and brought a new or renewed focus of the Roundtables on irregular migration, family, gender and climate change. It also included a working session on the Platform for Partnerships (PfP), a support mechanism to facilitate partnerships on current and past GFMD outcomes and follow-up activities, and a Future of the Forum session focused on the GFMD assessment exercise to be undertaken in 2011-2013.

The 3rd meeting took place in Athens from 2 to 5 November, 2009. The Greek Chair selected as overarching theme "Integrating Migration Policies into Development Strategies for the Benefit of All." The discussion focused on mainstreaming migration in development planning and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the impact of the economic crisis for the migration and development nexus, as well as policy coherence and the relationship between migrant integration, reintegration and development.

The 2nd GFMD meeting took place in Manila under Philippine chairmanship on 27-30 October 2008; it revolved around the central theme "Protecting and Empowering Migrants for Development". Its goal was to emphasize the human face of migration and the protection of migrants' rights and to examine the impact of such protection in reinforcing development. It also introduced for the first time the concept of "shared responsibility" of governments and other concerned actors in protecting and empowering the migrants and their families.

Belgium organized and hosted the 1st GFMD in Brussels on 7-9 July 2007. The thematic foci of the meeting reflected the priority themes identified by UN Member States in a survey undertaken by the Belgian Government at the end of 2006. GFMD 2007 examined the impact of migration on social and economic development, in terms of human capital development and labour mobility on the one hand and the contribution of migrant resources (financial as well as skills) on the other hand. Policy coherence between migration and development policies was the second main issue. Horizontal issues, such as human rights, gender and root causes of migration, were also discussed. Operating modalities were put in place, which included a structuring framework to guarantee the continuation of the Forum in the future on a sound basis.

Input to the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development:

Download the Annual Themes Concept Paper:

See also: