A meeting next week in the Botswana capital, Gaborone, will bring together regional bodies from around the world working on inter-state cooperation, to share good practices and effective approaches to migration issues.
The two-day meeting, which opens on 25 October, is the third of its kind. It builds on similar events held in 2009 and 2005 and brings together virtually all of the regional dialogues on migration – known as Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) – to strengthen the interaction of the regional processes and bolster inter-State cooperation on migration and related areas that have a significant impact on positive development outcomes.
RCPs are important tools for countries in exploring linkages between migration and adjoining policy and the opportunities related to such issues as labour migration, and increasing cultural diversity on the one hand, and challenges related to issues such as social welfare and minimum protection for human rights on the other.
While informal and non-binding in nature, RCPs offer tangible resources for information exchange, knowledge sharing and policy development, through regular consultation and in some cases, common databases. They also foster mutual understanding of difficult migration issues between countries of origin, destination and transit, contributing to coherent migration policies and practices among governments.
Increasingly, linkages between migration and development have also figured prominently on the agenda of many regional processes and the consultation schedule will include discussion of broader international cooperation forums such as the UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development and the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).
The meeting titled, Enhancing Cooperation on Migration through Dialogue and Capacity Building, is being hosted by the Government of Botswana in collaboration with IOM and will be opened by the Ministry of Home Affairs together with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.
The 2011 consultation is supported by the Australian, Swiss and US Governments and will include over 90 participants comprised of RCP representatives from 17 countries in addition to a number of partners, observers and expert speakers from regional/inter-regional bodies and international organizations.