State leadership and stakeholder engagement essential for prioritizing and implementing GCM

Stakeholder engagement for prioritizing and implementing Global Compact for Migration needs a state champion mentioned the speakers at a policy discussion.

Honourable Foreign Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh Professor Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen attended the event as the chief guest. He emphasised that the government of Bangladesh is pledge-bound to provide safety and security to every native and foreign citizen in Bangladesh. In that way Bangladesh has also fulfilled one of the most important requirements of GCM. Highlighting Bangladesh’s progress in implementing specific objectives of GCM, the Minister mentioned that Bangladesh is leading both in inception and implementation of GCM. He also appreciated some of the collaborative actions Ministry of Foreign Affairs has undertaken with civil society organisations

Speaking as the keynote speaker William Gois, Regional Coordinator of Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA). highlighted the need for champion countries implementing GCM but also to take State-leadership because GCM is primarily a state-led mechanism. So the state, not the UN should be in the forefront of implementing GCM. He also acknowledged Bangladesh’s pioneering role for showing the path in this regard.

Realizing the importance of stakeholder engagement and cross-learning among different government and CSO representatives, the event was jointly organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and CSOs for Global Commitments on Migration (CGCM).

The event titled ‘Road to Implementing Global Compact on Migration’ was held on Monday the 21st January 2020 in Quito, Ecuador during the 12th GFMD. It was supported by PROKAS program of British Council and UK Aid.

While moderating the event, Syeed Ahamed, CEO of IID and founding member of CGCM, highlighted how civil society forums in Bangladesh are now playing an active role in engaging UN and government agencies in implementing the global commitments on migration.

Md. Nazrul Islam, Director General of the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that although Bangladesh is in the process of developing a robust implementation framework for the GCM. The country has already made significant strides in achieving the compact’s objectives, especially at the local level – through its efforts to collect data on migrants, combat trafficking and by establishing safe home at district level.

Highlighting on the importance of information availability in implementing GCM, Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment suggested to increase the access to information through collaboration between the government initiatives and CSOs.

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Roula Hamati, Cross-Regional Center for Refugees and Migrants (CCRM) acknowledged the importance of the government-led transformative agenda to go beyond any projects on migration. Echoing with William Gois, she also highlighted that Bangladesh should reach alliance with other nationals.

Shakirul Islam, Chairman OKUP acknowledged the Bangladesh government’s commitment to implementing GCM and emphasised on collaborative actions engaging the grassroots-CSOs and the government.

Malaysian lawyer and global migration expert Sumitha Shaanthinni Kishna, Chairperson of the Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) shared her experience from working with MFA. She commended the government of Bangladesh for their firm commitment and consistent effort to implementing GCM. She suggested more engagement of the Bangladesh consulates at the destination countries for the purpose of implementing GCM as the scope of GCM is not only specific to sending country specific.

Gerry Fox, Team Leader, PROKAS stated the need to develop framework for collective solutions among different countries facing similar challenges while implementing GCM.

Coline Rajah, Action Commitee Coordinator of ICMC emphasised internalisation of the spirit of the compact and practicing it at global, regional, sub-regional, national and local level.

Shirin Lira, IBP Manager and Gender & Inclusion Adviser of PROKAS stressed on sharing best practices of GCM implementation by CSO representatives and building mutual capacity that can be transferred to the grassroots levels.

A strong alignment of Bangladesh Prime Minister’s vision and migration sector development was pointed out by Md. Nazrul Islam, Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sumaiya Islam, Executive Director, BNSK and Founding Member of CGCM extended gratitude to both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment for their continuous support in implementing GCM objectives.

On behalf of the hosts, Md. Nazrul Islam and Sumaiya Islam thanked the Honourable Minister and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CSO representatives and IID as the secretariat of CGCM for making the event successful with their valuable inputs.

Among others, Bangladesh Ambassador to Mexico Supradip Chakma, Members of Parliamentarians’ Caucus on Migration and Development Barrister Shamim Haider Patwary and Ex-MP Mahjabin Khaled, journalist Md Owasim Uddin Bhuyan, Joanna Yu, Ellene A. Sana, Executive Director of Centre for Migrant Advocacy, Philippines, Syed Saiful Haque, Chairman & Founder Member of WARBE DF, Anisur Rahman Khan, Director of Migration Program, Awaj Foundation and Nicola Piper, Founding Director of the Sydney Asia Pacific Migration Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia were present at the policy forum.