This year’s Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Summit was held in Dhaka between 8 and 12 December, 2016. This year’s summit was a significant event for Bangladesh, not only because it was the host but also because it took place at such a time when the world is experiencing renewed and often passionate debate on migration and refugees. From national to international politics, and this topic is turning out to be decisive in politics and governance.
On the national front, Bangladesh has undertaken a host of measures since 2009 under the leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to address proper migration management. She has also been a vocal advocate of the cause on the international stage. Through hosting the summit, Bangladesh aimed to contribute more in the area of effective migration management.
A team of Centre for Research and Information (CRI) attended and participated as delegates in the civil society days (CSDs) of the 9th GFMD Summit on 8th and 9th December. The team also attended the common space day on 10th December where all the CSD delegates met the government bodies to carryforward the decision and recommendation taken. Publications of CRI were displayed at the venue, while Young Bangla, helped placed 16 youth volunteers at the event who helped with various aspects of organizing the big event.
In their comments, the CRI delegation suggested to consider the Crisis Migration situation in a shared platform. Commenting on the recent unrest and subsequent displacement of Rohingyas in Myanmar, the delegation observed that since Myanmar shares common borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Vietnam and Thailand, it should be a shared responsibility of all four countries and not of Bangladesh alone. Therefore, a 360 degree shared agenda and implementation policy is required to assure proper management in this regard.
Addressing the delegates and others on the Common Space Day, HPM Sheikh Hasina indicated to take the migration related issues in a more humanitarian ground, because a migrant passes the golden period of his life by contributing for the greater purpose; alongside that, constant migration strengthens chain of cooperation and brotherhood among the nations. The more important indication from HPM Sheikh Hasina was to adopt a special approach for migration during periods of crisis and conflict.
Substantial remarks came from the several CSDs rounds on the previous migration summits and declaration, such as the word ‘Justice’ came only once in the widely discussed New York Declaration of 2016. Also many criticisms arose on the de facto approach to management of crisis migration all over the world and not having a single leadership or platform for migration governance. Other themes which recurred during the discussions include shared responsibilities, evidence based policies not policy based evidences, and special migration management schemes during crisis periods.