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The Role of Regional Consultative Process in Managing International Migration

image of The Role of Regional Consultative Process in Managing International Migration

The past ten years have seen an increase in the number of regional consultative processes focusing on migration. These non-binding fora bring representatives of states, civil society, and international organizations together at the regional level to discuss migration-related issues in a cooperative manner. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of regional consultative processes. It examines eleven regional processes and investigates the development and achievements of four of them in depth.

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The regional consultative processes

Before moving on to a deeperdiscussion of the development and discussion of the processes, an introduction to the processes themselves is first necessary. The basic characteristic of regional consultative processes which distinguishes them from other regional bodies is their informal nature. As perhaps best highlighted by information from the IGC (Inter-Governmental Consultations on Asylum and Migration) (below), this feature leads to a number of advantages: (1) informality - they are a process, not an institution, meaning that working toward an eventual final goal is an important aspect of the process; (2) openness - as agreement on all issues is not required, all options can be explored openly, thus increasing the number of possible solutions to issues; (3) efficiency -as there is a minimum of administration, direct communication is more easily possible between high level officials and experts in regional consultative processes. As will be discussed below, these three points serve not only to distinguish regional consultative processes from more formal bodies but, in so doing, also offer an alternative forum in which to discuss migration issues - a forum which often helps prepare for better results in the more formal setting.

English

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