The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and its Mayors Mechanism




Created in 2007, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is a state-led, informal and non-binding process, which helps shape the global debate on migration and development. It provides a multi-stakeholder space where States can discuss the opportunities and challenges related to migration and development in close partnership with local and regional governments (LRGs), civil society, the private sector and the UN system. The GFMD, together with the Global Compact for Migration since 2018, constitute the backbone of the global architecture for migration governance.

Consistent with its state-led but not state-only nature, the GFMD has provided significant space to hear the voices and expertise of diverse stakeholders, including academia, NGOs, trade unions, the private sector, migrants and diaspora representatives, as well as local governments. Three specific stakeholder groups have constituted formal mechanisms to engage with the Global Forum on Migration and Development, i.e., the Mayors Mechanism, the GFMD Civil Society and the GFMD Business Mechanism. In addition, the Migration Youth and Children Platform (MYCP) brings forward the voice of youth across the GFMD stakeholders. These mechanisms have been invited by the GFMD to join its Steering Group and other key government meetings, allowing space for these stakeholders to be an integral part of the decision-making processes.


The Mayors Mechanism


Following a growing emphasis on the need for a whole-of-government and whole-of society approaches to migration governance issues, the GFMD formally recognised the value of involving LRGs in GFMD discussions through the establishment of a Mayors Mechanism in 2018 that is jointly steered by United Cities and Local Governments, the Mayors Migration Council, and the International Organization for Migration.

The Mayors Mechanism facilitates the inputs and perspectives of LRGs in the deliberations on migration and forced displacement within the GFMD and it also creates opportunities for LRGs’ peer-to-peer learning and exchange. The Mayors Mechanism’s constituency consists of LRGs and city networks from around the globe. All LRGs representatives are eligible to participate in the Mechanism’s activities, and the Mechanism engages directly with its constituency through its Steering Committee members.

The Mayors Mechanism is currently working with the incoming GFMD co-chairs, France and Senegal, to ensure meaningful engagement of LRGs in the 2022 – 2023 GFMD activities.


A Call to Local Action on Migration and Refugees


In follow-up to the Marrakech Mayors Declaration – a 2018 political commitment of local leaders to implement the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) – the Mayors Mechanism launched a Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees in May 2022, with the objective to capture local action and political leadership that meets and exceeds global goals. The Call to Local Action is a collaborative effort between the Mayors Mechanism steering committee members and is executed in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).


Additional resources:



Contact person:


February 23, 2022