Refugees from Mali in Burkina Faso in 2012. They are waiting to receive animal feed for their malnourished livestock.

26 April 2017 – FAO and the International Organizaion for Migration have been appointed  to co-chair the United Nations Global Migration Group (GMG) in 2018.

The decision came when principals of the GMG, which is composed of 22 UN entities, met in Geneva on Tuesday.

FAO noted that this will serve to boost awareness of the key role of agriculture and sustainable development in addressing issues related to the mass movement of people from rural to urban areas and across borders.

 “We firmly believe that increasing investments in food security, sustainable rural development and in efforts to adapt agriculture to climate change, will help create the conditions whereby people, especially the youth, will no longer be forced to abandon their lands in order to seek a better life elsewhere,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said.

He stressed that addressing migration is an important part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and is critical in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

FAO and migration

The co-chairing arraignment aims to ensure that the GMG has proper expertise available to engage in negotiations for the adoption of the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration agreement, by the end of 2018. The adoption of the Compact stems from the final declaration of the 2016 United Nations Summit in New York.   

FAO believes that the drivers and impacts of migration are intimately linked to the agency’s global goals of fighting hunger and achieving food security, reducing rural poverty and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.

In particular, FAO has a unique role to play in reducing rural migration, in view of its experience in supporting the creation of better conditions and resilient livelihoods in rural areas. Together with its partners, FAO is also committed to further expand its work towards strengthening the positive contribution that migrants, refugees and internally displaced people are bringing for poverty reduction, food security and nutrition, and resilience of rural households.

This year the theme for World Food Day, which is celebrated annually on 16 October – a date commemorating the founding of the Organization in 1945 – will focus on the link between migration, food security and sustainable rural development.

 The GMG is the main body for global dialogue on migration

The GMG’s key priorities include: promoting the application of instruments and norms relating to migration; and encouraging the adoption of more effective approaches for coordinated response to the challenges and opportunities arising from migration.

GMG also contributes to the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), which is a main intergovernmental process for cooperation on migration and development.

In 2017, the GMG’s rotating chair is held by the United Nations University. Previous chairs have been UNWomen (2016), World Bank (2015) and the International Labour Organization (2014).

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