By IISD’s SDG Knowledge Hub

15 July 2019: The co-facilitators of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations on the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) announced that UN Member State have reached agreement on the format and organizational aspects of the new Forum. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is expected to take action on the draft resolution on 19 July 2019.

Creation of the IMRF is set out in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, also known as the Marrakech Compact on Migration. The Forum will serve as the “primary intergovernmental global platform” to discuss and share progress on the implementation of all aspects of the Compact, including as it relates to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Per the Compact, the Forum is conceived as a “repurposing” of a prior mechanism, the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.

In February 2019, IMRF co-facilitators Agustin Santos Maraver (Spain) and Masud Bin Momen (Bangladesh) initiated consultations on the precise modalities and organizational aspects of the IMRF. On 7 June, they issued the zero draft of the resolution, and consultations took place on revised drafts of the text. On 5 July, the co-facilitators shared a final draft of the resolution under silence procedure until 9 July, but the procedure was broken by a “number” of Member States on issues that included holding the Forum “within existing resources” and on the timeline for agreeing on the progress declaration.

The resolution was reviewed and placed under another silence procedure until 10 July but, as noted by the UNGA President, the procedure was broken again. A final revised draft of the resolution was shared by the co-facilitators on 12 July and put under silence procedure until 15 July. On that day, the co-facilitators announced that agreement had been reached. The final revised draft is available here.

The final revised draft resolution reaffirms UNGA resolution 71/1 titled, ‘New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants,’ recalls the adoption of the Marrakech Compact on Migration, and recalls resolution 73/195, by which the Assembly endorsed the Compact. By the agreed text, the IMRF shall: be convened under the UNGA; chaired by the UNGA President; last for four days; and take place during the first “semester” of 2022 and thereafter every four years.

The resolution also reiterates the importance of effective participation of all relevant stakeholders. It requests the UNGA President to organize and preside over one day of informal interactive multi-stakeholder hearings prior to each Forum, and to invite representatives of civil society to present a summary of the hearings during the opening segment of the Forum’s plenary. It also invites the Global Forum on Migration and Development to provide a space for informal exchanges on the implementation of the Compact, and to report the findings, best practices and innovative approaches to the Forum.

The resolution requests the UNGA President to appoint two co-facilitators no later than two months ahead of each Forum to conduct open, transparent and inclusive intergovernmental consultations on a progress declaration. The declaration, it says, should be agreed upon “preferably” before the beginning of each Forum, it shall be concise, evidence-based and action-oriented, and it shall be adopted during the closing segment of each Forum.

The resolution further decides that each Forum should be held within existing resources, and consist of four interactive multi-stakeholder roundtables, followed by a policy debate, and a plenary. It encourages Member States to present the result of their reviews of progress in implementing the Compact, on a voluntary basis, as part of their national statements. It also decides that the format and organization aspects of the IMRF will be reviewed after the second Forum, “unless otherwise decided.” [Final Revised Draft Resolution]

Source:: IISD – International Negotiations

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