At the invitation of the 2011 GFMD Chair-in-Office Switzerland, the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) is coordinating the organization of the activities of civil society within and leading up to the yearend 2011 GFMD Civil Society Days (CSD), to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 29 and 30 November, 2011. As in previous years, the 2011 CSD will precede the 2-day meeting of the governments on 1 and 2 December.
In his letter addressed to ICMC head of Policy Mr. John K. Bingham, Ambassador Eduard Gnesa, Swiss GFMD Chair, explained that the Government of Switzerland has chosen the overarching theme, “Taking Action on Migration and Development – Coherence, Capacity and Cooperation” for the 2011 GFMD. The Swiss GFMD Chair wished to realize this theme by promoting continuity and coherence between the civil society processes for 2010 and 2011, and ensuring tangible and concrete results this year, thereby adding value to the overall process.
For these reasons, the ICMC was chosen to coordinate the activities of the civil society in a year of innovative new approaches that will take into account the recommendations of the civil society over the last years, which include: more meaningful self-management of the civil society process, convening meetings at inter-regional levels and increased support for, and enhancing the capacity of the civil society in between GFMD meetings. All these should lead towards greater impact and sustainability.
The ICMC has been active in the Global Forum process and the past GFMD meetings in Brussels, Manila, Athens and Puerto Vallarta, collaborating with other civil society partners around the world, and with the convening foundations of the past CSD. In 2010, ICMC served as Chair of the Steering Committee of the Mexico GFMD CSD.
The ICMC is an international organization that serves and protects uprooted people: refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants regardless of faith, race, ethnicity or nationality. It responds to the challenges of people on the move and their communities, implementing and advocating for rights-based policies and durable solutions through its worldwide membership of Catholic Bishops Conferences, and alongside government and non-governmental partners.
With about 60 years of experience and expertise, and the presence of staff and programmes in over 40 countries, ICMC is renowned for its dynamic combination of international policy-building and representation, together with direct programming with migrants on the ground. Its meaningful and effective engagement with relevant migration stakeholders through the years has established a solid reputation among ICMC members, partners, donors and beneficiaries alike.
In support of the 2011 GFMD work plan, the ICMC already held consultations with a large number of key civil society actors who have been involved in the GFMD process.