On 17 October, the Kenya National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM), in collaboration with the UN Migration Agency (IOM), convened in Nairobi for a one-day stakeholder forum to deliberate and adopt a common position on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
The NCM combines key Government of Kenya Ministries and Departments with migration related functions at central and devolved levels, and meets regularly to discuss pertinent migration issues. On this occasion, apart from IOM, key civil society stakeholders also participated, including academia, research institutions and an interfaith umbrella organisation.
The 50 representatives engaged in lively discussions in order to reach a common Kenyan perspective on the GCM.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by his Deputy, Mr. Joseph Munywoki, the Director of Immigration Services, Dr. Major-General Gordon Kihalangwa (rtd), said that the GCM is expected to make an important contribution to the global governance and enhance coordination on international migration.
“The Department of Immigration Services recognizes the importance of engaging stakeholders with migration-related functions to participate in an inclusive migration dialogue in order to come up with the National Position on the Global Compact on Migration,” he said.
The Assistant Director of Immigration Services and Head of the NCM Secretariat, Dr. Dan Opon, stated that while NCM enhances coordination on national and international migration issues, the GCM is expected to make an important contribution to national, regional and global migration governance.
The Head of IOM Kenya Country Office, Mr. Michael Pillinger, said that he was delighted to see that NCM had become an important platform for critical awareness, information exchange, advisory, and decision making that Governments can no longer do without.
“I am happy of the bold steps being taken by AU and IGAD in coming up with guiding frameworks for dialogue, partnerships and structural support to the National Coordination Mechanisms on Migration in order to address migration related challenges,” he said.
He also emphasised the centrality and critical role of the migration-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) towards a comprehensive realization of the GCM. He further appreciated Kenya’s approach of mainstreaming the implementation of the SDGs into its national development framework titled ‘Kenya Vision 2030’.
The workshop focused on drivers of migration in Kenya, human rights of migrants, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons, international cooperation and migration governance, as well as labour migration and the contribution of the Diaspora to human and national development.
The meeting outcome will inform the Kenya Country Position on GCM and subsequent engagement and negotiations during the Addis Ababa Regional Dialogue (26 October), the Mexico GCM meeting (planned for December), and ultimately the adoption of the GCM during the Intergovernmental Conference expected for September 2018.