13.15 – 13.30   Opening remarks:

  • Tarik Iziraren, UNOSSC Deputy Director, Policy and Strategic Partnership (Moderator)
  • Philip Odida, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations
  • Tareq Md. Ariful Islam, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations
  • Elisabeth Pape, Minister Counsellor​, Delegation of the EU to the United Nations

13.30 – 14.00   Panel discussion: Implementing the GCM through South-South Cooperation

  • Stephanie J. Nawyn, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University
  • Luisa Feline Freier, Professor, Department of Social and Political Sciences, Universidad del Pacifico
  • Vivian Birchall, Executive Director, Africans in Boston
  • Khatharya Um, Associate Professor, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, UC Berkeley

Open discussion

14.30   Lunch served





Background Paper

Cooperation between developing countries will be crucial to effective implementation of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM). This is true not least because of the changing dynamics of modern migration patterns: in 2017, developing regions hosted some 43 per cent of the world’s 258 million international migrants.[1] Of those, 97 million, or 87 per cent, originated from other developing regions.[2] This figure now surpasses the number of migrants from developing countries who live in the developed world.

These changing dynamics mean that developing countries will need to work together to address the challenges and harness the opportunities that migration presents. Countries in the global South are already doing this in many ways, increasingly by generating their own best practices and knowledge to address sustainable development challenges, which are often more relevant and easily replicable than the more advanced approaches utilized in the countries from the North. However, many of these countries also lack the resources, structures and governance frameworks to effectively manage these new patterns, and are unaccustomed to being destinations for migrants. Enhancing South-South cooperation on migration will therefore be an important tool for ensuring positive outcomes for both migrants and societies and addressing its potential challenges.

This is also reflected in the GCM itself, which stresses the need to reinforce engagement in North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation and assistance in its implementation. The GCM also establishes a new capacity building mechanism in the United Nations, for which South-South cooperation should become an important part of the demand driven, tailor made and integrated solutions envisioned by Member States.

At the same time, to strengthen and further invigorate South-South cooperation, the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation will be convened on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA) adopted in 1978. Although migration was included in the original BAPA and has been discussed from time to time in the High-level Committee on South-South cooperation, those discussions have tended to take a narrow and limited view of migration. That view no longer represents the more nuanced understanding we have today and that is outlined in the final draft text of the GCM.

Migration therefore needs to be better reflected in the BAPA + 40 process in a way that is consistent with the understanding that has evolved in the global debates on migration and development. It should also be consistent with the migration commitments outlined in recent multilateral frameworks like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the GCM.

This side event, organized on the margins of the Global South-South Development Expo 2018, is intended to discuss these issues and to mobilize, promote and improve access to the technical and policy expertise needed to support GCM implementation, of which South-South expertise and experience will be an important component. A summary of discussions will be produced as a contribution to the preparatory process of the BAPA + 40 outcome document and to inform the preparations for the Marrakesh Conference to adopt the GCM.


[1] United Nations, 2017, International Migration Report 2017, New York.

[2] United Nations, 2017.