Collaborative stakeholders’ consultation shapes Regional UN Migration Network’s 2023/24 Workplan for West and Central Africa

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Dakar – The Regional United Nations Migration Network for West and Central Africa successfully concluded its Stakeholders Consultation for the Workplan 2023/24. The virtual event organized by the Regional Office for West and Central Africa took place online on 26 May 2023, bringing together approximately 70 stakeholders and partners working on migration issues in the West and/or Central Africa region.

The Stakeholders Consultation served as a platform for fruitful dialogue and collaboration among key stakeholders in the WCA region. The event focused on discussing and reflecting upon the priorities for the Regional Network’s Workplan 2023/24 thematic workstreams, which have been developed to support Member States in the region in the implementation, follow-up and review of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM).

The GCM, as the first-ever inter-governmentally negotiated UN agreement on migration, highlights the significance of international cooperation and a collective approach to addressing migration challenges. Acknowledging that no single government can effectively manage migration alone, the GCM provides a comprehensive roadmap for Member States to develop rights-based migration policies and enhance cooperation at regional and global levels.

The Regional UN Network for West and Central Africa plays a pivotal role in facilitating effective, timely, and coordinated UN system-wide support to regional Member States in implementing the GCM.

“The West Africa Region is historically characterized by dynamic movement of people. Currently, there are an estimated 7.6 million international migrants, with nearly 90% percent originating in the region. Noting accelerating demographics, climate change, and a growing number of youths looking for educational and labour opportunities, the importance of comprehensive migration policies and mainstreaming migration in relevant policy sectors are key,” said Christopher Gascon, Regional Director for IOM West and Central Africa

During the Stakeholders Consultation, participants engaged in meaningful discussions and provided valuable insights on the proposed thematic workstreams for the Workplan 2023/24. These workstreams include joint advocacy, engagement with regional economic communities, support to UN Country Teams and country networks, stakeholder engagement, enhancing global-regional links and visibility, migration and climate change, socio-economic reintegration of returnees, free movement and labour mobility, data, saving lives and missing migrants, and remittances.

“A participatory and inclusive process is crucial for effectively integrating migrants’ experiences and stakeholders’ expertise in the work of the Regional Network and the implementation of the GCM. By actively engaging diverse stakeholders in this consultation and encouraging collective reflection, we can achieve tangible improvements in migrant’s lives on the ground.” said Robert Kotchani, Regional Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for West Africa

The Consultation successfully aligned with General Assembly Resolution 73/195, which underscores the importance of implementing the GCM in cooperation and partnership with various stakeholders, including civil society organizations, local authorities, the private sector, trade unions, parliamentarians, National Human Rights Institutions, academia, the media, and others.

The workplan, a living document that may be updated to address the evolving nature of migration, focuses on key issues where the UN system can add value in the region and prioritize flexibility and adaptation to changing conditions and demands. By fostering collaboration, upholding human rights, and utilizing a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, the Regional Network aims to achieve positive development outcomes and contribute to the realization of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.



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