Global Forum on Migration and Development

18. - 26.01.2021.



13th Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) to be held online from 18–26 January 2021, under the Chairmanship of the United Arab Emirates.

Business participants to the GFMD can now register here to take part in this international event. Registration is open until 11 January.

IMPORTANT: The dates of the meeting have changed due to it becoming a virtual meeting.

The Summit programme is available here. The schedule for activities is indicated in CET time zone. The Chair has organised principal activities during a “prime time” to accommodate participants in all time zones to the greatest degree possible.  Other activities may be timed or even tailored for participants in certain time zones.


The private sector is a major actor in the Summit, one of the four GFMD member groups participating in Global Forum activities together with governments, mayors and local authorities and civil society leaders from around the world.

This year’s Summit programme has a special focus on labour migration, the participation of business and mayors, regional perspectives, and dialogue. 

The Business Advisory Group on Migration, hosted at the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), has been organising opportunities for leaders of employer federations and business to dialogue with governments during this global event. In general, there are two types of such opportunities for business participants within the formal Summit programme this year.

1. Summit activities organized by the UAE Chair open to all Summit participants.  Among them:

  • Monday 18 January: Opening ceremony. Before prime time. Pre-recorded.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 19-21 January, 6 government roundtables: Twoeach concurrently during prime time.
  • Tuesday, 26 January: Closing ceremony, prime time; plus, session on International Migration Review Forum of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM/ IMRF Reporting).

2. Specific business activities organized by the Business Mechanism. In particular:

  • Thursday, 21 January: Business “Networking”
    • 2 two-hour sessions,just before and after prime time, primarily for regional dialogues between regional employer federations and national governments, by invitation only. These are focused expressly on informal dialogue directly with national governments. Some of the regional dialogues, e.g., for Asia and the Middle East, will be introduced with highlights of new research we have completed with employer federations and business partners on business perspectives and migration policy, or a consolidation of more global such research in other sessions.
  • Friday, 22 January: Business meeting and IOE-SEEDSTARS. 3 prime time hours open to all:
    • Two 45-min Davos-style plenary sessions of business.
    • Two 40-min rounds of IOE-SEEDSTARS #MigrationChallenge pitching of start-up businesses focused on migration related issues. Having received enormous positive feedback on this part of the GFMD programme last year, this competition will showcase how technology and entrepreneurship can contribute to better migration management.

There are other activities to which participants are invited in the current Summit programme.

IOE address

71 Avenue Louis-Casaï
1216 Cointrin
Geneva, Switzerland

T: +41 22 929 00 00
F: +41 22 929 00 01