Facilitating Policy Dialogue

Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development 

On 4 October 2013, UNITAR co-hosted a side-event entitled "On Local Government: Taking the Migration and Development Agenda Forward," which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. This meeting was the first convening of Local Governments on the subject of Migration and Development at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Cities of Athens, Barcelona, Cuenca and New York gathered to provide concrete examples of how their cities are responding to the challenges of migration and illustrated the central role played by Local Government.     

The side-event was a joint effort by UNITAR, the World Bank’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), and the Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), which is administered by UNDP and implemented in partnership with IOM, ILO, UN Women, UNHCR and UNFPA, in addition to the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration. (The programme and outcome document of the side-event)

During the side-event, the Mayor of Barcelona, Mr. Xavier Trias i Vidal de Llobatera, announced that his city would launch the first Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development on 19-20 June 2014. This Mayoral Forum provides an excellent high-level complement to the work of UNITAR's Learning Platform on Human Mobility (LPHM).

In gathering mayors and city representatives from around the world, the Forum served to: catalyse policy leaders in cities and regions around the key challenges and opportunities of mobility and development; shape a vision for what is required to carry a “mobility and development” agenda forward for cities and regions; and channel global visibility on the role played by sub-national government in this field.

The Mayoral Forum focused on two themes: city government and its leadership role within and between countries regarding global migration and mobility governance; and fostering economic prosperity in city centres and peripheries: the “Virtuous Circle” of Migration and Development. (The background note and programme of the Forum)

At the conclusion of the Mayoral Forum, a statement was issued – the Call of Barcelona – that:

  • Emphasizes equality of rights, duties and opportunities as core bases for a cohesive society;
  • Acknowledges the central role played by local governments on the issues of mobility, migration and development; and
  • Reasserts the need for city leadership and related support by national and regional government and other actors.

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UN DESA convenes the Annual Coordination Meeting on International Migration since 2002.