International dialogue on migration

Migration is a global phenomenon and as such cannot be addressed from a purely national perspective. In order to better meet the challenges of migration and benefit from the positive impact it has on the economic and social development of the migrants' regions of origin, Switzerland has an interest in strengthening migration governance at all levels. 

The multilateral dialogue platforms foster bridge-building between countries of origin, transit and destination and promote general cooperation in the area of migration.  They facilitate the development of regional and global solutions and aim to achieve an approach to migration based on fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity between countries.  Besides representatives of states, they also involve international organisations, UN agencies, and civil society and private-sector actors.

It is in Switzerland's interest that this dialogue is continued at all levels and that Switzerland should play an active part in shaping it.

The Federal Administration has been organised into an interdepartmental structure for international cooperation on migration (ICM structure), which was created by the Federal Council in February 2011 and brings together the relevant offices from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) and the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP).

Global Forum on Migration and Development

The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is a venue for informal global dialogue.  It was established following the first UN High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (UNHLD) in 2007 on the advice of the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.  It is based in Geneva.

The GFMD seeks to foster exchange and concrete cooperation among states and other stakeholders in the areas of migration and development.

As a member of its steering group, Switzerland takes an active role in defining the GFMD's priorities.

International organisations and UN agencies

A large number of international organisations and UN agencies work on migration issues. In 2007, the most important of these formed the  Global Migration Group (GMG), which currently comprises 18 agencies and international organisations.

The key partners for Switzerland include the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

The GMG was dissolved following the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration. Its successor, the UN Migration Network, is currently made up of 38 entities within the United Nations system. The eight-member executive committee provides strategic oversight and takes decisions for the network.

Migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In order to contribute to global development, promote human well-being and protect the environment, the international community adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015.  It recognises migration as an integral factor in global and sustainable development.  The summit outcome document takes into consideration the fact that migrants may be exposed to specific risks and sets clear goals to protect their human and employment rights.  It also takes account of the different needs of refugees and internally displaced people.  In addition, the 2030 Agenda aims to eradicate human trafficking.  Switzerland was a driving force behind the integration of migration in the 2030 Agenda.