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Project News: Providing regular pathways from crisis to safety: 3rd Regional GFMD workshop in Quito, Ecuador

19 September 2019


The European Union is supporting the Ecuadorian Chairmanship of the 2019 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) through the MIgration EU eXpertise (MIEUX) Initiative, implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). The two-day regional workshop “Providing regular pathways from crisis to safety”, co-organised by ICMPD and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 19 and 20 September in Quito, Ecuador is the third in a series of four regional workshops preceding the Quito Summit in November and will gather representatives from academia, national and local-level governments, International organisations and civil society to exchange experiences.

Providing safe and regular pathways for migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean

Multiple factors, ranging from climate change to individual aspirations, are prompting large-scale mixed movements of individuals around the world. In recent years, intra-regional migrant flows have increased across Latin America and the Caribbean, with a surge of vulnerable individuals and groups experiencing displacement, transiting through various countries, or settling into new locations. At this pivotal time, it is imperative to take stock of the range of policy options and concrete measures that governments in Latin America and the Caribbean have taken to respond to these situations and to provide access to international protection or alternative legal status. As Ambassador Santiago Chávez Pareja, current Chair of the GFMD process for 2019, stated, “Coordination among governments and cooperation with other stakeholders is key to bolster States´ agency and capacity to manage movements and meet acute needs based on upholding international protection obligations.“

Inter-regional cooperation for improved international migration governance

The workshop responds to the first thematic priority of the Ecuadorian GFMD Chairmanship to engage regional stakeholders in meaningful dialogue ahead of the Quito Summit regarding innovative approaches and lessons learned in dealing with situations of mixed movements while upholding and protecting the safety, dignity and (human) rights of people on the move. A wide array of stakeholders, among which representatives from local and central governments, academia, civil society and international organisations, will gather to contribute through these discussions to the supporting documents for the Summit´s Round-table 1.1 “Providing regular pathways from crisis to safety”, co-chaired by the Governments of Mexico and Nigeria and part of the GFMD 2019 agenda.

Through the exchange of experiences and practices, the workshop will facilitate the sharing of concrete measures created by Governments’ and other stakeholders’ to respond to mixed movement situations, facilitate safe passage for people fleeing crisis situations, provide access to asylum or alternative legal status and analyse the experience made through resettlement and complementary pathways alike. "The fact that Ecuador holds the Presidency of GFMD 2019 is a very important milestone, especially because it is the first time that a South American country has held this position and because it is very significant at this crucial moment. We are facing a regional migration crisis that requires a regional response. On the part of the EU, we have already managed to add an aid package of more than EUR 130 million and a few days ago, our High Representative announced new aid of EUR 30 million. All this is a sign of our commitment to continue supporting the efforts of host countries and their local authorities to provide employment, entrepreneurship and decent housing for refugees, migrants, returnees and host communities. We will also combat xenophobia and all forms of exploitation and trafficking in human beings. We have a global responsibility towards people in human mobility and host countries. Within this framework, this workshop represents the interest that we have in confronting this migratory crisis as a whole in a stronger and more effective way", said Marianne Van Steen, Ambassador of the European Union in Ecuador.

This workshop will provide an opportunity to review good practices addressing the challenges and opportunities related to documentation and identification, reception procedures, including for groups in vulnerable conditions, access to shelter and health services, and family tracing and reunification.

As Mr. Oleg Chirita, Head of Programme, Global Initiatives, ICMPD stated, “Upholding and protecting the safety, dignity and human rights of people on the move requires strong coordination and will from governments and other actors. We are delighted to support the GFMD Chair in convening this event to display the broad range of responses that governments across Latin America and the Caribbean and beyond have created, piloted and adapted.”

The GFMD and the Ecuadorian Chairmanship of 2019

The 12th GFMD Summit will be held in the week of 18-22 November 2019 in Quito, Ecuador under the theme “Sustainable approaches to human mobility: Upholding rights, strengthening state agency, and advancing development through partnerships and collective action.”

Ecuador’s GFMD 2019 Chairmanship comes at a timely moment for global migration governance, given the inclusion of migration-related targets in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the adoption of the two Global Compacts on Refugees (GCR) and on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in 2018. Four regional workshops will take place between July and October 2019 involving regional stakeholders, as part of a set of concrete priorities that the 2019 GFMD Chair has put in place to enhance the GFMD process this year and beyond. In line with topics of the 12th GFMD Summit roundtables, the regional workshops will focus on social and economic inclusion of migrants; migration, rural transformation and development; legal pathways; and the role of cities in migration governance.

MIEUX and the 2019 GFMD

In line with one of its main objectives, MIEUX is providing relevant European expertise and content support to the Government of Ecuador in relation to the GFMD 2019 process. Specifically, MIEUX is assisting Ecuador with organising a series of regional workshops that should not only contribute directly to the thematic round-tables of the Quito Summit and to the background papers, but also function as standalone events that advance the global debate on migration and development. Targeting different stakeholders, such as local and central governments, academia, civil society, and regional stakeholders, this series of regional workshops aims at setting up a future-oriented regional model that could be utilised by future GFMD chairs in their respective regions.