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06 OCTOBER 2008
PHILIPPINE HOSTING OF GFMD2 FORMALLY LAUNCHED
MANILA--President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Tuesday that it is a great honor for the Philippines to host the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development or the GFMD2 on 27-30 October at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
The President made the statement as she formally launched the country's hosting (of this international forum) at the Kalayaan Briefing Room in Malacanang this afternoon that will bring together delegates from 150 governments and international organizations to discuss the multi-dimensional aspects of migration and development.
Brussels, Belgium hosted the first GFMD in July last year.
The President, assisted by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs Esteban Conejos and Ayala Foundation Chair Jaime Ayala Zobel, pushed the button that lighted the map of the Philippines on a globe.
Secretary Romulo said the Philippines was chosen to host the GFMD2 in recognition of its active advocacy and leadership in labor migration management.
The global forum will also serve as a venue for the Philippines to advance the interests of the eight million Filipino workers abroad through cooperative and joint efforts with partner countries.
Some 150 United Nations member states and international organizations are expected to arrive in the country to participate in the four-day forum.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has confirmed his attendance during his meeting with the President on the sidelines of the 63rd UN General Assembly last September in New York will open the forum on 29 October, while the President will be the keynote speaker.
The forum, according to Secretary Romulo, provides a platform to share best practices, with the intention of fostering concrete, responsive and action-oriented solutions and policies, that harness the developmental impact of migration while addressing the concerns of migrants and their families.
"By choosing the GFMD2 central theme, "Protecting and Empowering Migrants for Development," the Philippines will highlight the country's efforts in promoting the rights and well-being of Filipinos overseas and their families," Undersecretary Conejos, who is also the chair of the GFMD2, said.
At the international front, the Philippine hosting of the forum reflects the country's commitment to work with various governments and sectors in crafting more responsive and relevant migration and development policies, Undersecretary Conejos added.
The GFMD was proposed by the UN Secretary General at the UN General Assembly High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development held in New York City in September 2006.
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