Quezon City, Philippines, 29-30 September 2016 - Quezon City hosted the 3rd Global Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development on 29-30 September 2016. Over 170 mayors gathered along with local, national and regional government representatives, international organizations and academia to discuss the crucial role that cities play in managing human mobility.
The annual Mayoral Forum is a city-led global initiative that aims to propose new and innovative approaches to urban governance in contexts of greater diversity, and supports city leaders in the implementation of migration policies for inclusive growth. The Forum highlights the practical and inventive solutions that local authorities develop to govern migration, examining how these can be replicated elsewhere. It serves as a global platform for the exchange of best practices on integrating migration into development planning, and on fostering connections between migrants’ communities of origin and destination.
The Quezon City Forum theme, “Governing Locally: City Leadership at the Front and Center in Implementing Migration Policy – Promoting Development and Securing Protection” had local leaders delving into two major topics: the role of diaspora in furthering development in communities of origin and destination; and the inclusion and protection of migrants and refugees in vulnerable situations.
Mayor Herbert M. Bautista of Quezon City opened the Forum stating that “it is in our best interest as policy makers to understand mobility and migration better, become familiar with all of its dimensions, needs and impact, so that we can manage outcomes that are transformative and economically and socially progressive for our own cities”. He furthermore called upon his peers from cities around the world to be: "bold and innovative in our agreements and commitments, so that we can better unfold the enriching impact on sustainable development that human mobility and migration can bring”.
In officiating the meeting representing UNITAR, Dr. Colleen Thouez reaffirmed the Mayor’s call, and emphasized: “at no time has migration been as much about hope as it is about fear. Today, city leadership is vital in steering policy and on the ground progress in this area.”
The 3rd Mayoral Forum represents a growing network of local leaders participating in a global process to amplify the voice of cities in political discussions pertaining to migration. For the first time in history, this message was formally endorsed by cities in the “Call of Barcelona” in June 2014 during the 1st Mayoral Forum in Barcelona. In November 2015 this call was strengthened and taken forward by the outcome document of the 2nd Mayoral Forum, entitled the “Quito Local Agenda on Migration and Development”, a political roadmap on how to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local level. The official outcome document of the Quezon City Mayoral Forum, the "Quezon City Commitment to Action", reaffirms the connection between good migration governance, respect for the human rights of migrants, and the attainment of the SDGs.
Co-founders of the annual Mayoral Forum – UNITAR, the World Bank’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), the Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and more recently joined by the International Organization for Migration (IOM); the Third Mayoral Forum in Quezon City was also co-implemented with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), and in partnership with the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).