RP officials in leading roles in Athens Migration ForumDec 6th, 2009 | By staff | Category: News
The Third Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD), hosted by Greece this year, was held in Athens on 2-5 November 2009 with the theme “Integrating Migration Policies into Development Strategies for the Benefit of All”. The Forum, an informal inter-governmental conference to discuss trends and issues in global migration was attended by government delegations, international organizations, civil society, migrant groups and observer delegations.
Secretary of Labor and Employment Marianito Roque led the Philippine delegation, composed of DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos, Philippine Ambassador to Greece Rigoberto Tiglao, OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, POEA Administrator Jennifer Manalili, and Consul-General Junever Mahilum-West and Labor Attache Manuel Imson from the Philippine Permanent Mission in Geneva, Switzerland.
Undersecretary Conejos, who chaired the 2nd Global Forum hosted by Manila in October 2008, gave a stirring speech at the opening session. The session was also addressed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, who called on participants to commit themselves to “zero tolerance for trafficking in women and girls”.
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister George Pappandreou of Greece opened the Forum and noted in his speech at the opening session that the issue of migration is close to his heart because he too had been a migrant to the US.
The Forum was divided into three roundtable discussions::
Roundtable 1 – How to make the migration-development nexus work for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
Roundtable 2 – Migrant integration, reintegration and circulation for development; and
Roundtable 3 – Policy and institutional coherence and partnerships.
The Philippine delegation participated actively in all roundtable discussions and their interventions were included in the final reports. The Philippine delegation participated actively in all roundtable discussions and their interventions were included in the final reports. POEA Administrator Manalili outlined the Philippines’ initial experience of mainstreaming migration in development planning and invited technical and financial support from the international community, particularly in research studies to gather data on the current status of migration in the Philippines and to draw up tools and indicators to measure the direct and indirect contributions of migration in development.
In Roundtable 2, OWWA Administrator Dimzon called on governments of countries of destination of migrants to mobilize resources to distribute the benefits of circular migration back to the countries of origin of migrants. In Roundtable 3, Consul-General Mahilum-West proposed the establishment of a “website networking system” that will enhance the dissemination of outcomes and other data contained in existing websites such as those of the GFMD, International Organization for Migration, International Labor Organization and the Regional Consultative Processes.
- Ambassador Tiglao with Labor Secretary Marianito Roque at the Global Forum on Migration
Labor Attache Imson acted as Rapporteur in Session 2.1 of Roundtable 2 on the topic “Inclusion protection and acceptance of migrants in society – linking human rights and migrant empowerment for development”. In the sidelines of GMFD, Labor Secretary Roque held separate bilateral meetings with heads of delegations of selected countries to discuss employment and labor issues, and with IOM Director-General William Swing on projects of mutual interest.