Senior government officials and officials from participant United Nations agencies of the Bangladesh United Nationals Network on Migration (BDUNNM) were present at the launch event held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

Migration is a global reality. There are an estimated 281 million international migrants worldwide who, sometimes, find themselves in vulnerable situations in their countries of origin and destination.

There is a responsibility to ensure that migration is safe, orderly, and regular as these migrants, sometimes, find themselves in vulnerable situations in their countries of origin and destination, said a press release.

The Government of Bangladesh has not only recognised migration as a development tool, it has also included it in its development planning showcasing this through the mainstreaming of migration in the 8th Five-year Plan
Gwyn Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh

In 2018, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) was adopted and became the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, covering all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

Following up on the commitment of the Bangladesh government and with the support of the BDUNNM, a recommendation was put forward for the formation of an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism to lead and support the implementation, monitoring, and review process of GCM.

The launch of the Taskforce marks an important step reiterating this commitment from the government while recognising the continued efforts of Bangladesh as a Champion GCM country.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said Bangladesh has consistently pursued the issue of migration as a top priority in its diplomatic engagements at the bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels.

He also reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment to a rule-based international migration framework taking a 360°approach to promoting safe, orderly and regular migration

“We would remain committed, despite the difficulties experienced in the last two years and more, to meaningfully deliver on our recognised role as a ‘Champion Country’ for the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).”

Secretary Salehin said the Taskforce will provide a consultative space for policy and decision-making coordination, information exchange and peer review.

Former Foreign secretary and IOM Senior Advisor Md. Shahidul Haq indicated that the nature of human mobility and migration is getting more complex, and that it is impossible to deal with this issue without adopting a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach.

He identified Bangladesh as a country of source, transit and destination.

Gwyn Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, said, “The Government of Bangladesh has not only recognised migration as a development tool, it has also included it in its development planning showcasing this through the mainstreaming of migration in the 8th Five-year Plan.

“This Taskforce is another step forward in our joint efforts to ensure the safety, dignity, and human rights of all migrants and effectively govern migration.”

The United Nations (UN) established a UN Network on Migration at the global level to ensure effective, timely, and coordinated UN system-wide support to Member States in their implementation, follow-up, and review of the GCM.

Abdusattor Esoev, IOM Bangladesh’s Chief of Mission and Coordinator of the BDUNNM, stressed that “Migration provides immense opportunity and benefits – for migrants, host communities and communities of origin. However, when poorly regulated, it can create significant challenges. The GCM leverages the overall benefits of migration while addressing its risks and challenges for individuals and communities. BDUNNM commits to working closely with the Taskforce to support the implementation of the GCM in Bangladesh.”

Abdulsattor Esoev also said this Taskforce would reinforce Bangladesh’s ongoing efforts to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration in the mixed migration context, by adding that this initiative is the first of its kind in the world in the field of migration.

The taskforce will lead the formulation of the implementation plan for GCM; communicate and promote GCM implementation to stakeholders; recommend harmonisation and alignment of activities to avoid duplication and encourage complementarities in programming; plan and lead capacity building initiatives; facilitate coordination between ministries and agencies; facilitate submissions of joint advocacy positions; and lead the review and reporting on GCM implementation progress and include a follow-up mechanism.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina first mooted the idea of GCM at the UN General Assembly in 2016. The Intra-governmental Taskforce has been launched as part of Bangladesh’s ongoing initiatives to implement its priorities among the 23 GCM objectives, the release said.

The government recently made a pledge to form this Taskforce during the first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) held in May 2022 in New York to follow up progress on GCM implementation.

The Taskforce will consult the Bangladesh UN Migration Network, comprising representatives from all relevant UN agencies, the release added.

The BDUNNM will provide support to the Taskforce in all its activities.