The City of Mechelen (Belgium), supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Belgian Federal Government will host the “Global Conference on Cities and Migrants” on 16 and 17 November 2017. This important international gathering on the place and role of local authorities in migration governance will be organized by UCLG, UN-Habitat and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The conference is framed by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (adopted in September 2016), through which UN Member States have committed to a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the drafting of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), to be adopted at an intergovernmental conference to be held in 2018. Further, the New Urban Agenda gives a key role to local authorities on migration and includes commitments by Member States to ensure the full respect of migrants’ human rights and support to their host cities, including through international cooperation, taking into account that migration brings significant social, economic and cultural contributions to urban life.
In this regard, the “Global Conference on Cities and Migrants” taking place in Mechelen in November aims to link both process and act as a preparatory event to facilitate local governments’ contributions to the development of a Global Compact on Migration, as well as to review the state of implementation of the migration-related commitments of the New Urban Agenda (Habitat III), ahead of the first formal follow-up during the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2018.
Thus the main expectations from the conference are:
- Actionable recommendations on cooperation for migration governance at local and national levels, as inputs to the stocktaking meeting on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Mexico, December 2017).
- Inputs to the follow up and implementation of the New Urban Agenda to be presented at the 9th World Urban Forum (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 2018).
- A Statement/Declaration of Local and Regional Authorities and Mayors building a new narrative towards the Global Compact on Migration.
Migration issues have been tackled from several angles by UCLG and its constituency in the past. Nevertheless, the importance of the topic has grown in recent years as human mobility (including internal, international and forced displacements) has increased and become more and more urban. Local authorities, and cities in particular, are at the centre of the hosting, integration and inclusion of migrants at local level and should therefore be consulted and involved in the design and implementation of national and international policies linked to migration issues.
For more information about the conference please contact the team at the UCLG World Secretariat: [email protected] and [email protected].
Please click on the links below to access the following documents:
- Programme of the Global Conference on Cities and Migrants
- Concept note of the Global Conference on Cities and Migrants
- New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants
- Web of the Conference