Skip to main content

1st Annual Meeting of the UN Network on Migration



One year after Marrakech, approximately 160 representatives from UN Network members, civil society and other stakeholders came together for the first Annual Meeting of the United Nations Network on Migration (a) to review the Network’s progress; (b) to review working arrangements and explore ways to further enhance collaboration; (c) to identify emerging challenges and (d) to take decisions on the next steps.

This summary summarises the recommendations raised in discussions in response to the guiding questions put forward for each session and outlines proposals for the next steps and the way forward.

Opening Session


  • The Network has used the first year to establish its building blocks, working methods and processes, and now must focus on substantive GCM implementation in 2020.
  • The Network offers an opportunity to have a real, positive impact for GCM implementation and assisting migrants, communities and Member States, in a way that recognizes the expertise of each entity.
  • The use of pilot countries next year can be a practical approach to supporting GCM implementation means while countering tensions around it.
  • In 2020 the Network needs to have a real impact on:
    • Speaking with one voice;
    • Increasing collaboration with and guidance to country/regional levels;
    • Defining roadmaps of support to Member States on regional reviews next year;
    • Supporting Member States in GCM national implementation plans.
  • Speaking as one voice as the UN system. This should not be reduced solely to joint statements, but also to ensure that we are acting coherently together and seeking those opportunities, events and platforms to do so.
  • The global Network needs to provide guidance to country and regional efforts to establish their own Networks while recognizing their needs for differing modalities and priorities; such guidance should include how best to include GCM/migration into CCAs and UNSDCFs and work with other existing coordination mechanisms.
  • In alignment with UN system reform, the Network should work with UNCTs and RCs as a platform for discussions on migration/GCM.

Proposed next steps and way forward

  • 2020 to be the year of GCM implementation with Network support, including through the use of pilot countries.
  • To provide Network support to regional reviews in 2020 with a degree of urgency.
  • To ensure global Network guidance to country/regional levels as they establish their own Networks, for developing GCM national implementation plans, and insertion of GCM/migration into CCAs and UNSDCFs.
  • To use the Network workplan as our roadmap to move forward with a willingness to see the best opportunities ahead to leverage success and be adaptable to opportunities.
  • To ensure that a community of practice feeds into the forthcoming Global Knowledge Platform and Connection Hub.

Working Session


Regional and country level Network coordination structures and GCM national implementation plans

  • The success of the Network at global level, depends on success at regional and national levels. It is important to replicate the Network at both levels, building on existing mechanisms and reflecting the TORs of the global Network with room for regional specificity.
  • Communication is fundamental and common platforms from local to national to regional and global (connection hub) should be explored.
  • It is important to reinforce rather than duplicate efforts, focus on core principles, maintain flexibility and take a demand - and needs - driven approach in moving forward.
  • The Network should not forget its main raison d’être: to ensure our efforts have positive impact on migrants’ lives. The Network is there to support the GCM implementation by Member States, not to implement the GCM. The Network needs to keep engaging Member States on this agenda.
  • The Network should represent a bridge between various stakeholders – connecting national, regional and global levels through a bottom-up and whole-of-society approach.

Regional reviews of the GCM implementation in 2020 (as per the IMRF Resolution)

  • Time to move forward – ensuring coherence and securing funding will be key.
  • The Network, including the RECs, will actively support the regional reviews of GCM implementation, including by helping to promote a 360-degree view and alignment of the reviews with the GCM’s guiding principles.
  • Member States should prepare national voluntary reports that would serve as a base for regional reviews. Guidance questions should be developed soon in a participatory manner. Network members at national level would support Member States. Syntheses reports should be produced and validated by Member States.
  • Regional reviews should be inclusive through interactive sessions.
  • Urgently explore ways to fund RECs and regional partners to carry out the regional review.

Proposed next steps and way forward

  • To develop a calendar and support options from the logistical to the substantive for the regional review.
  • To provide a clear UN system vision on how to proceed with regional reviews to support Member States with the preparation at national level.
  • To allow for a loose and flexible structure of the regional reviews, in line with regional priorities and paying attention to the most vulnerable.
  • To develop guidance questions for Member States on the GCM review in a participatory manner.
  • To reach out to Member States, civil society and other stakeholders in the region on how inputs to the regional review will be structured. Network representatives are encouraged to attend national workshops and present tools on the GCM review. Civil society can also do shadow reporting.
  • To explore ways to fund RECs and regional partners to carry out the regional review.
  • To use existing stakeholder platforms such CSO consultations preceding the regional review (as per 2017 consultations phase of GCM).

Working Session 2


  • Several objectives highlight the relevance of data in the GCM (for example objectives 1, 3, 17 and 23). Collecting data and filling the gaps is important to be able to build the links between implementation across different objectives.
  • Missing gender statistics and sex disaggregated data represent an important challenge, as well as missing data on undocumented migrant workers in relation their working status, contribution to different sector and access to services.
  • Data information on vulnerable migrants’ groups support the work of other working groups and creates synergies between them, such as services and alternative pathways.
  • It is essential to address the protection of personal information of migrants. Data protection serves to improve knowledge and alleviate migrants´ vulnerabilities.
  • The knowledge platform can play a positive role in enhancing the availability of data related to migrants’ women and girls and in developing the knowledge related to vulnerable migrants to protect their human rights.
  • A mapping of existing portals and platforms is currently being developed to enrich the sources and build up the Connection Hub and the Knowledge Platform. Seed funding will help to kick start the assessment and a survey will be very soon circulated. The possibility to include a community of practice is under consideration.
  • A large range of stakeholders from civil society and academia are included to develop research and collect information for the Connection Hub and Knowledge Platform to be established in July 2020.
  • The Connection Hub and Knowledge Platform WG is undertaking steps to set up methods for information sharing and platforms for collaboration between EC and non-EC members of the different working groups of the Network.
  • The international forum of statistics will be held in January 2020 in Cairo.

Proposed next steps and way forward

  • To improve investment in data capacity – mainstreaming migration into the global guidance to national census and statistical information at the national level is key to achieve the goals.
  • To develop synergies in working with different organizations, including women organizations, CERAH and the Children on the Move Initiative.
  • To enhance collaboration with civil society- especially in relation to data collection – many civil society organizations and other stakeholders are already collecting data in innovative ways.
  • To develop fundraising capacities to ensure the continuity and achievement of the goals of the working plan
  • To encourage organizations to collect their knowledge on migration

Working Session 3


  • Mixed migration flows constitute a complex issue. It is important to ensure the complementarity between GCM and GCR in a broader way to leave no one behind on issues related to mixed migration and regular pathways. Regular pathways for those escaping for protection reasons are becoming fewer. We should not call for creating new avenues for regular migration but rather improve the existing ones, while responding to existing needs.
  • Forced labour continues to be a challenge leaving vulnerable migrants unable to access services. Especially women migrant workers are affected and the agreements in place are not considerate enough of their specific needs.
  • Access to services requires policy making and inclusive government systems – to be addressed in a holistic way with a rights-based, gender- and child-sensitive approach.
  • The role of governments will remain central when it comes to migration. At the same time civil society and the private sector need to be more involved in providing services to support governments.

Proposed next steps and way forward

  • To accelerate our work on implementation related to these issues by putting forward operational steps for the WGs in 2020, ensuring an inclusive process through a whole-of- society approach, using best practices and taking a strong advocacy stance across the different WGs in a unified way.
  • To look at the complementarity between the two Global Compacts in the best interest of the people affected.
  • To constructively work with Member States and ensure their political will.
  • To develop policy guidelines in close collaboration with government municipalities and to enhance the capacity building of civil society and other stakeholders who are working on the ground.

Working Session 4


  • The main objective has to be achieving direct impact on the lives of migrants.
  • Both WGs are at the intersection of migration management and human rights. They have to provide space for constructive and open dialogue, including on areas of disagreement and sensitive issues, in particular around the voluntary nature of returns. Emphasis should be placed on reinforcing, rather than duplicating efforts.
  • Importance of building partnerships with non-traditional stakeholders, i.e. law enforcement, immigration authorities, mental health professionals.
  • Key focus of TW 2 will be on eliminating detention of children, encouraging alternatives to detention, and ensuring better conditions where detention is used in line with human rights standards.

Proposed next steps and way forward

  • Outreach by WGs to ensure full stakeholder participation.

Closing Session


  • We need to understand that Member States, UN entities and civil society work in different ways – coordination might not be always easy but it is important to build bridges and to go beyond the agencies’ issues so that migrants and their families feel positive impact on the ground.
  • There is agreement on the activities listed in the workstreams in moving forward.
  • Appeal to consider additional issues through the lens of the current workplan, rather than addressing them as separate additional thematic workstreams.
  • Importance of data collection to identify address specific gaps. Guiding principles and data considerations should be reflected in all WGs. Data protection plays an important role.
  • Strong call to take climate change into account as a cross-cutting issues and stimulate thinking to how it impacts movements and what legal pathways are needed to respond to those. We need to be aware of potential overlap and ensure coherence.
  • Positive developments at global level need to transpire to the regional and country level. The Network should shift its energy from headquarter level to the field to achieve our ambitions. We need to better coordinate work with the regions and facilitate dialogue at the national level through an inclusive approach.

Proposed next steps and way forward

  • To be specific about deliverables, remaining concrete in results while reflecting inclusivity.
  • To ensure a balanced inclusion of all regions, the Network needs to be aware of developments at regional and country level and different regions need to be equally represented in the WGs.
  • To encourage global civil society and other stakeholders’ networks to mobilize their own networks at country level and grassroot levels to ensure inclusivity.
  • To look at existing efforts and engage in new initiatives to fight hate speech and shape a positive discussion around GCM implementation.
  • To start looking into the IMRF preparations at the same time as the regional reviews.
  • To adopt and integrate GCM language in all interventions on migration.
  • The Network cannot address all challenges at once – we need to start with priorities and demonstrate impact.

Related Documents

Upload document
Summary (319.22 KB)

Photos from the Annual Meeting

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).