First Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development - City of Barcelona

Jun 17, 2014
The First Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development took place on 19-20 of June in the City of Barcelona and gathered more than 30 Mayors and City Representatives who exchanged on M&D topics.



The First Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development has been announced by the Honourable Mayor of the City of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, last October 2013. The call represents the direct outcome of the side event on: "Migration as a Catalytic Enabler for Development and the Role of of Local and Regional Government" which was organized by the Joint Migration and Development Initiative together with UNITAR and KNOMAD in the context of the Second High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (HLD). The Mayoral Forum was convened on June 19-20 in Barcelona.

What are the outcomes of the First Mayoral Forum?

In the "Call of Barcelona" Mayors and City Representatives have asked for:

  • A voice and role in deciding on migration policies;
  • A dignified treatment and respect for all people regardless of where they are coming from;
  • Legislation to adopt a more realistic approach to minimize exclusion and other negative impacts of migration;
  • The adoption of legal frameworks that facilitate processes of integration for all;
  • Strong actions against racist and xenophobic discourse and crimes;
  • Funding sources for local policies of integration and to accommodate diversity.

As a major outcome of this First edition, the Mayor of Quito has announced that his city will host the Second Mayoral Forum on Migration and Development in 2015. The success of the first Forum paves the way for further meetings and discussions between Mayors and City Representatives for a better inclusion of migration in local development planning and strategies.

"The Mayoral Forum reflects the will to highlight the role of cities at the front-line of addressing migration and the need to discuss the value of mobility for development in cities and around the world" Call of Barcelona

Who took part in this premiere?

Hosted by the City of Barcelona, Spain, this event was organized with the support of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the World Bank and the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD). The European Union was represented by the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström.

Almost thirty cities from across regions attended the Forum and were joined by International Organizations and Institutions that have a stake in various issues related to migration and development.

The participating cities were Ankara, Turkey; Athens, Greece; Baalbeck, Lebanon; Beirut, Lebanon; Bilbao, Spain; Budapest, Hungary; Cologne, Germany; Fez, Morocco; Gothenburg, Sweden; Köln, Germany; La Paz, Bolivia; La Unión, El Salvador; Lisbon, Portugal; Madrid, Spain; Málaga, Spain; Medellín, Colombia; Milan, Italy; Montreal, Canada; Paris, France; Plock, Poland; Pristina, Kosovo; Quito, Ecuador; San Salvador, El Salvador; Seoul, South Korea; Tangier, Morocco.    

Why is the Mayoral Forum important?

Despite the fact that human mobility is a topic that first and foremost affects cities, local administrations have little or no voice in global forums where the priorities of the human mobility agenda are set. Discussions on the management of migration flows usually take shape at the national and international levels which often fail to acknowledge the impacts of migration on development at the local level. The Mayoral Forum thus represents an opportunity to start a process whereby migration and development discussions and dialogues are localized. Cities are provided with a platform for expression and visibility to further support their call and defend their demands in the field of migration and development.


Organization of the event

Two main sessions structured the Forum:



The Joint Migration and Development Initiative has contributed to the preparations of this event through a policy brief on the role of local authorities to harness the potential of migration for local development which supported the discussions of the second panel "Fostering economic prosperity and the virtual circle of development" (read more here).

To access the related background papers of this event, please visit UNITAR’s website here . For further information, please download the below attached documents comprising the background note and the agenda of the event and the final Call of Barcelona.

The concrete outcomes of the 2nd HLD are accessible here.