The global forum on migration and development: "All talk and no action" or "a chance to frame the issues in a way that allows you to move forward together"?

B Roldan, Des Gasper

Research output: Working paperAcademic


The paper explores the proposed rationale of the Global Forum on Migration and Development that was launched by Kofi Annan in 2006 as UN Secretary General, as an informal inter-governmental discussion space. First, it identifies the series of claims in Annan’s speech to the High-Level Dialogue that he convened in New York: that international migration must be managed; that to proceed from the present situation of entrenched disagreements and mistrust requires constructive structured communication; that the Global Forum can provide this and is a feasible way forward, unlike proposals for binding international conventions; and that through processes of growing mutual education and mutual acceptance the Forum can be fruitful. Implied are notions of building trust and community amongst the “migro-crats”, the public policymakers in the global networks of migration. Second, the paper monitors how the hypotheses had fared by the time of the second Forum conference, in Manila in 2008, by discourse analysis of its concluding report. The Manila meeting’s declaration of a “focus on the person” appeared in reality to a large extent mean a focus on the “migro-crats” and their interactive processes of mutual education and team-building that are intended to produce practical cooperation. To clarify this strategy and draw out its mindset and assumptions, the paper presents a series of tools for discourse analysis that may be more widely useful in migration studies and for participation in migration policy debate.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series

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