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An Assessment of Principal Regional Consultative Processes on Migration

image of An Assessment of Principal Regional Consultative Processes on Migration

The present study considers fourteen of the principal Regional Consultative Processes on Migration, spanning most regions of the globe. Based primarily on interviews with government officials and other actors involved in these processes, the Study asks what impact Regional Consultative Processes on Migration have had on migration governance and on fostering greater confidence in inter-State cooperation on migration. This Report sets out with a broad definition of migration governance. It identifies three distinct phases of the governance processes and analyses the contributions Regional Consultative Processes on Migration have made to each of these. The Study then proceeds to draw general lessons and recommendations from the experiences of different processes in terms of their working style and focus.

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The effects of RCPs on the migration governance process

Through RCPs, the number of ministerial meetings, training seminars, conferences, and workshops on migration has increased exponentially over the last two decades. It is hard to think of a single issue related to migration that has not been the subject of an RCP-enabled meeting. Given how politically sensitive migration can be, the fact that these meetings have occurred is noteworthy. In itself, it does not, however, provide any evidence for an impact on migration governance. Activity does not equal impact; a meeting can just be a meeting; and no RCP should be evaluated according to the number of meetings it held. The important question is whether RCPs contribute to overcoming the impediments to cooperation thrown up by this particularly difficult area: an absence of trust between states (and even between government departments within states), fears of political or financial costs, adversarial international relationships, or a lack of understanding of the perspectives and concerns of others.

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