Civil Society Organization
Upon the invitation by two consecutive Chairs, Switzerland (2011) and Mauritius (2012), a GFMD Civil Society Coordinating Office was established under the auspices of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), an internationally operating non-governmental organization based in Geneva.
The Coordinating Office was established to achieve continuity, longer-term planning, institutional memory and network-building for sustainable civil society engagement in the GFMD. The Coordinating Office is expected to maintain active engagement in GFMD coordination processes leading up to the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in 2013.
The Coordinating Office carries principal responsibility for the preparation and organization of the Civil Society Days. It interfaces with the Chair and governments throughout the year to ensure the inclusion and contribution of civil society. With great guidance of the International Advisory Committee, and in consultation with a wide network of civil society actors (the “Consultation Circle” – see below), the Coordinating Office organizes, among other things, the development of the concept paper, format and themes for the GFMD Civil Society Days as well the selection of civil society participants and panellists. The Coordinating Office also carries responsibility for fundraising and ensuring continuity throughout the process.
The Coordinating Office works under the leadership of Mr. John K. Bingham, Head of Policy at ICMC, assisted by Senior Programme Officer, Ms. Wies Maas, and Programme Officer, Mr. Andres Morales. In addition, a part-time accountant and a corps of volunteers work to promote efficiencies and impact of the GFMD process for the benefit of migrants, migrants’ families, communities and states.
In Mauritius, the Coordinating Office is working with the Chair and local partners, both for the organization of the Civil Society Days and the facilitation of a national civil society process. ICMC’s longstanding partner and presence in Mauritius is the national Caritas organization. Since January, the Coordination Office has been working closely with Caritas Mauritius head Patricia Adèle Felicité on the preparations for the Civil Society Days 2012.
Side by side and of particular importance to this year, collaboration is also sought with Mr. Denis Grandport and Mr. Ram Nookadee, the leaders of the Mauritius Council of Social Service (MACOSS), who have taken up the key role of organizing the engagement of national civil society organizations in the GFMD.
International Advisory Committee
The Coordinating Office cannot and will not act alone on behalf of civil society at large. Rather, wide and regular consultation and cooperation with a global range of civil society actors is the practice across the board. With utmost respect for sectoral, geographic, and gender diversity, an International Advisory Committee (IAC) of some 15 civil society leaders advises and assists ICMC’s Coordinating Office in developing, implementing and monitoring the Civil Society programme.
The IAC 2012 will comprise a number of “IAC old-timers” from prior years, as well as new members, in particular from African and diaspora groups, along with Mauritian and Swedish civil society representatives.
Click here to download the list of IAC members.
In addition to the International Advisory Committee, a broad network of civil society leaders, GFMD veterans and original thinkers—a kind of “Consultation Circle”—is regularly consulted. Like the IAC this open-ended network represents a cross section of civil society actors including human rights, development, labour, diaspora and migrant organizations, academia and business. Advice is sought from the “Consultation Circle” on strategic decisions such as the thematic agenda, format and selection of speakers, the preparatory processes, follow-up actions and interactions with governments.
If you would you like to be included in the Consultation list, please send us an e-mail at: email@example.com
At the same time, broad communication with the largest group of stakeholders possible is maintained, through information on this website, newsletters, and e-mail notifications, amongst others targeted at prior participants and existing migration and development networks.
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CSD Organization in the past
In each of the first years of the GFMD (2007 – 2010), the country acting as GFMD Chair designated a national private foundation to organize the GFMD Civil Society Days. The following foundations organized previous GFMD Civil Society Days:
- King Baudouin Foundation (first GFMD, Brussels, Belgium, 2007)
- Ayala Foundation (second GFMD, Manila, Philippines, 2008)
- Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (third GFMD, Athens, Greece, 2009)
- Fundación BBVA Bancomer (fourth GFMD, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 2010)
The reports that they prepared and other GFMD documents of each of these years are available in the GFMD Civil Society archives.