Local authorities are moving from commitment to action in the field of migration

Local authorities are moving from commitment to action in the field of migration

At the UCLG World Congress in Durban, the Mayors' Mechanism of the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) launches a Call to Action to consolidate and make visible the role of local authorities in the governance of migration and in the follow-up of the Global Compacts. UCLG's Community of Practice on Migration will play a key role in this initiative.

One year after the Mayoral Declaration of Marrakech, in which more than 60 mayors pledged to support the implementation of the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees, the Mayors' Mechanism of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is launching a Call to Action in Durban to ensure that cities around the world demonstrate their progress in the inclusion and protection of the rights of all people in a coordinated and effective way. This strategic orientation, framed by a roadmap that coordinates local actions with international initiatives, will provide local governments with the necessary elements to defend their crucial role at the first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in 2022.

The Call to Action is based on six strategic priorities discussed with the signatory cities of the Declaration and through UCLG's Community of Practice, which will meet in Durban on 13 November. These priorities cover a wide range of actions, from social inclusion to the provision of basic services or the prevention of discrimination, among others.

Beyond this initiative, the LRAs want to demonstrate in Durban that migration at local level is not an issue of borders, but a matter of inclusion and reception. A broad coalition of local representatives and international actors will address, in different sessions, the challenges and opportunities they face as the level of government closest to citizenship whose responsibilities require the recognition and support of national and international actors. The central discussion on all these aspects will take place on Thursday, November 14 at the Special Session on the Future of Migration, during which mayors and representatives of international organizations will share their visions on the way forward.

In addition to the Mayors' Mechanism (steered jointly by UCLG, MMC and IOM), the Congress will host sessions of the MC2CM project, the UNICEF local agenda on children and migration and a coalition of actors led by OECD to reflect on the type of support cities need to contribute to the achievement of global goals. For its part, UNHCR will present the strategic orientations of the World Refugee Forum, to be held in Geneva from 17 to 19 December 2019, during which cities are playing an increasing role in various debates related to the reception and protection of rights.

For several years, local and regional authorities have played an active role in the global governance of migration. In addition to their essential contribution to the provision of basic services and to protect the Right to the City, local authorities participate in a narrative shift that overcomes discrimination and focuses on the benefits of cultural understanding, coexistence, cohesion and the participation of all people in space and society. The UCLG World Congress in Durban will be an ideal opportunity to consolidate the work accomplished and to open new avenues for collaboration among all levels of government and all types of actors in the pursuit of their common objectives.