This year on the 4th of November, in parallel to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), the Global Unions are organising a forum to call for the respect of Trade Union and other Human rights for migrating workers. In addition, the Global Unions urge the United Nations to “bring the GFMD back within its formal mandate,” as the roots of the GFMD are based at the United Nations.
The central theme for the 2009 GFMD is “Integrating Migration Policies into Development Strategies for the Benefit of All.” The government meetings will be hosted by the Greek government and the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation has been asked to organize the Civil Society Days of the 3rd GFMD. The Onassis Foundation was established in 1975 as an independent foundation following the instruction of the will of Aristotle Onassis. Similar to last year, there will be a strong trade union delegation at the GFMD Civil Society Days.
The GFMD was a result of UN General Assembly resolution that was passed in December 2003 and lead to a UN High Level Dialogue (UNHLD) on International Migration and Development in September, 2006. The UNHLD recommended the creation of a permanent forum on migration within the UN structure with the hope of establishing a coherent and cohesive structure to address policy in the area of migration and development. But in the end, the UNHLD process led to the creation of the GFMD, which has become informal, voluntary, non-binding, and state run process that, “will look to developing a practical agenda on maximizing the gains from the migration and development.”
The Global Unions have previously organised events around the first GFMD in 2007 which was hosted by the Belgian “King Baudoin Foundation” that coordinated the Civil Society Forum on Migration and Development prior to the GFMD. Last year the second GFMD took place in the Philippines. The official Civil Society Day will be hosted by the Ayala Foundation.