The MTM Dialogue
ICMPD has hosted the Secretariat of the informal, inter-regional and intergovernmental MTM Dialogue since its inception in 2002. Anchored to ICMPD’s Southern Dimension, the MTM Dialogue is a flexible, consultative platform between migration officials in countries of origin, transit and destination along the migration routes in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Initially focusing on transit migration, the MTM extended its scope over the years to cover the various aspects of irregular and mixed migration, as well as migration and development. Through its activities and regular expert meetings, MTM participants benefit from the contribution and expertise of the ICMPD Competence Centres and MTM Partner Agencies. For example, in 2008, MTM, in cooperation with Europol, Frontex and UNHCR, published a working document on mixed migration flows. In 2009, the MTM Dialogue entered its 4th phase, "A Dialogue in Action" and in 2012 celebrated its 10th anniversary. The paper The MTM Dialogue 2002–2012: A Mulitfacted Approach provides an analysis on the ten years of MTM.
The MTM Dialogue aims to support, at the technical level, the current efforts undertaken at international, regional and sub-regional levels along the migration routes in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. To this end, it follows the guidance of the main global, African and European policy guidelines. In addition, regular synergies and cross-fertilisation is ensured with other highly relevant initiatives, such as the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), the Union for the Mediterranean (EuroMed), the Africa-EU Migration, Mobility and Employment (MME) Partnership, the Rabat Process and the 5+5 Dialogue. Finally, the MTM Dialogue fully respects and promotes the application of all relevant international legal instruments in the field of human rights and refugee protection, as well as the combating of trafficking and smuggling.
The guiding principles of the MTM Dialogue are intergovernmental, informal, technical and state-driven. Intergovernmental means a concentration on state actors' concerns. The Dialogue itself is entirely informal and non-binding, thus enabling an open exchange of opinion whereby various perspectives are explored and acknowledged. Experience shows that such an informal forum can significantly contribute to the opinion-forming of state officials and be supportive of more formal dialogues and processes. The MTM Dialogue does not tackle political issues but operates at the technical level. Finally, the process is state-driven, thus oriented towards the real and current concerns faced by partner states; that is to say, that it focuses on questions and topics of actual concern to the MTM partner states. The working languages of the MTM Dialogue are Arabic, English and French.