The International Forum on Local Solutions to Migration and Displacement

The International Forum on Local Solutions to Migration and Displacement was held on 26 and 27th of November in Gaziantep, Turkey. The Forum was co-hosted by the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality (GMM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the World Academy for Local Government and Democracy (WALD), the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT), and the United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA).

The event offered an opportunity to showcase and exchange good practices between Turkish municipalities and local authorities around the world, facilitating city-level partnerships. The Forum also outlines how local solutions to improve the lives of refugees, migrants and host communities can be replicated and scaled up. The Forum also provides a platform to identify gaps, challenges as well as opportunities to promote further international cooperation in response to migration and displacement at the local level.

The Forum brought together over 250 participants including mayors from 25 cities, municipal officials, civil society and NGO leaders, local government associations and members of the UN community to discuss and share good practices and local solutions responding to migration and forced displacement under the theme of “From Emergency to Resilience and Development.”

The Forum was opened by Fuat Oktay, Vice President of the Republic of Turkey, and Fatma Sahin, Mayor of Gaziantep. They emphasized Turkey’s commitment to refugees with the Vice President noting, “we have always walked next to the refugees, and the international community should walk with us.”

UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, Mehmet Duman, during his closing speech, announced the establishment of the “Global Task Force on Migration” within the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Social Inclusion, which was later opened for signature at the end of the International Forum. This Global Task Force will serve as a follow-up mechanism on the commitments of the Gaziantep Declaration.

The Forum concluded with the signing of the Gaziantep Declaration, which consolidates global good practices from mayors’ perspective in response to migration and displacement. It has also informed the Global Refugee Forum held in Geneva, Switzerland on 17-18 December 2019.

You can find the photos here.

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