A High Level Thematic Meeting on Migration and Development, organised by the Rabat Process, will take place on 12th-13th May 2022 in Madrid. The meeting will be hosted by Spain, current Chair of the Rabat Process, and co-chaired by Senegal. The objective of this meeting will be to bring together Rabat Process partners to engage in joint reflection on recent developments in the migration and development nexus, including the emergence of new actors. Partners will explore how development cooperation can better address the root causes of involuntary migration, while capitalising on the positive impact of migration.

The role of cooperation in migration and new actors for a new context

During the two-day meeting, plenary sessions and roundtables with experts from Rabat Process partner countries and their development cooperation agencies, international organisations, civil society and the private sector will focus on the current state of the debate and the latest approaches and initiatives in the field of migration and development. Plenary discussions will enable participants to share their experiences and contribute actively to the meeting.

Particular attention will be paid to the role of three key groups, and how development cooperation can better channel their potential. These three groups, which are set to become transformative forces for the future, are as follows:

  • African youth in search of opportunities for entrepreneurship;
  • Women, who have great potential as agents of change, but who face particular obstacles that need to be overcome;
  • Diasporas, which are growing in number and are identified as natural agents to help capitalise upon and channel the positive impact of migration on development.

The strategic context of the meeting: migration and development in the Rabat Process

“Maximising the positive impact of regular migration for development”
- Domain 1, objective 1, Marrakesh Declaration and Action Plan

The strategic framework of the Rabat Process - the Marrakesh Declaration and Action Plan - states that strengthening the synergies between migration and development "constitutes a priority domain and a specific feature of the Rabat Process." The thematic meeting will contribute to the implementation of Domain 1 of the Action Plan and more specifically, to its objective 1 ("Maximising the positive impact of regular migration for development").

The meeting will be “an opportunity to see how we could be more effective, efficient and targeted in the link between migration and development”, explained Spain’s representative Ambassador José Luis Pardo, in a video interview at the outset of the Spanish Chairmanship. Spain’s decision to organise a meeting targeting high level participants illustrates the significance of the topic within the Rabat Process, and this meeting will build upon and complement activities on Migration and Development that have taken place previously.

Since the adoption of the Marrakesh Declaration and Action Plan in 2018, a thematic meeting on objective 2 of the plan ("Achieve a common understanding of the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement in the Rabat Process region") took place under the co-chairmanship of France and Senegal in 2018, and the Rabat Process also conducted a study "Social immobility versus social mobility: the root causes of international emigration" in 2019. In 2021, France took the initiative to organise a “Rabat Process” labelled webinar on international migration and development, which focused on mainstreaming migration into development policies and cooperation.

Registration for the high level thematic meeting on migration and development is open until 5th May 2022: