January 2024

Towards More Ambitious Goals: Reflections on the First International Migration Review Forum

The new FES publication offers a civil society perspective on how we can raise ambition for the IMRF to deliver for migrants.

The initial International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) took place in May 2022 during the General Assembly in New York, aiming to assess the progress of the 2018 Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). In this interim period between IMRF sessions, authors Kate Sheill and Laurel Townhead reflect on the inaugural event from a civil society standpoint, documenting the formal processes leading up to the forum. The publication serves as a contribution to institutional memory and seeks to provide insights for future IMRF engagements. The review delves into the established constraints and emerging challenges faced during the 2022 IMRF, examining how they influenced efforts to enhance civil society involvement. Specifically, it contemplates the global follow-up and review process's potential.

While acknowledging certain successes of the inaugural IMRF, the paper contends that greater ambition is necessary, both for the forum itself and the implementation of the GCM, to effectively benefit migrants. It suggests viewing the IMRF not merely as a quadrennial, four-day event but reimagining it as an integral part of the broader UN architecture for migration governance and migrant rights. This approach aims to foster coherence across all relevant UN processes and entities, as well as to expand and deepen engagement from diverse stakeholder groups. Only through this comprehensive perspective can we hope to realize the ambition and effectively serve the needs of migrants.


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