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OFW Group to Join UN Global Forum on Migration

Originally Posted on GMANews.TV

A non-government organization that takes care of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their families is participant to the first Global Forum on Migration and Development in Brussels, Belgium, from July 9 to 11, 2007.

Mai Dizon-Anonuevo, executive director of Atikha, will participate in the GFMD discussions on July 9.

The GFMD, essentially a meeting of government leaders of United Nations’ member states, has set aside a day (called civil society day) to hear issues, ideas and opinion on migration from NGOs, advocacy groups, and trade unions.

“The government of Belgium has deemed it important and necessary to hear the voice of civil society actors on the issue of migration and development,” the Atikha online newsletter has reported.

The Belgian government had asked the King Baudouin Foundation to organize the civil society day on July 9 and to pick participants from civil society groups.

The non-government delegation will present recommendations from civil society groups during the first plenary session. Civil society experts will also participate in round-table discussions of leaders of governments.

The GFMD is neither a decision-making nor a policymaking body, but it seeks to tackle issues related to migration and development, identify best practices, promote exchange of experiences and develop cooperation among countries.

The Topics that will be discussed during the forum include human capital development and labor mobility; remittances and other diaspora resources, especially on how to increase their volume and development value; enhancement of institutional and policy coherence; and promotion of partnerships.

The GFMD was an offshoot of a high-level dialog convened by the UN in September 2006, which discussed the nexus between migration and development.

In that dialogue, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan proposed the creation of a global forum for migration. More than two-thirds of delegates of the 127 countries that participated in the dialog had agreed with Annan.

Atikha is a non-government organization that provides economic and social services to overseas Filipinos and their families in the Philippines. The organization aims to help address the social cost of migration and tap the development potential of migration.

Atkiha’s pilot areas are San Pablo City in Laguna and Mabini in Batangas. Based on government estimates, some 20,000 Filipinos in the US, Canada, Hong Kong and the Middle East come from San Pablo City. Some 5,000 Filipinos in Italy come from the town of Mabini, Batangas. – GMANews.TV

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