Fifth Mayoral Forum in Marrakech


Sat, 12/08/2018

Type of event

Mayoral Forum


Theme City Leadership in Implementing the UN Global Compacts

Date 8 December 2018

Location Pullman Marrakch Palmeraie Resort & Spa Hotel, Marrakech, Morocco


Over 150 Mayors and senior city executives, representatives of national governments, international organisations and civil society from across the globe participated in the 5th Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development (“Mayoral Forum”) in Marrakech, Morocco on 8 December 2018. Launched in 2013, the Mayoral Forum is the annual global gathering for municipal and regional leaders on migration, development and displacement, supported by local, regional and international partners. 

This year’s Mayoral Forum was entitled City Leadership in Implementing the UN Global Compacts. It focused on three policy themes: addressing special needs and reducing vulnerabilities; providing access to basic services; and empowering migrants, refugees and societies to realize full inclusion and social cohesion, including through employment and skills mobility. For each of these themes, cities identified what they are doing, what they further commit to and what support they need in the areas of resources [e.g. financing], tools [e.g. data, standards] and partnerships [local, national, global]. The summary of these discussions can be found below.

The  Mayoral Forum closed with the signing of the Mayors' ​Declaration which outlines cities’ and other local and regional authorities’ commitments in relation to their efforts to contribute to the achievement of both the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). The Declaration also calls on the international community, national governments and private sector to recognise and consider cities’ expertise and ensure their inclusion in the implementation and follow up of the GCM and GCR. For this very reason, this year’s Mayoral Forum took place during “UN Migration Week” in Marrakech which concluded the two-year process in which the GCM was negotiated and agreed endorsed by 164 Nations States from 10-11 December. The Mayors’ Declaration was read out during the Summit by the Honorable Mayoress of Montreal, Ms. Valérie Plante and can be found here.

The GCM is the first ever negotiated global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions. Emphasizing the principle of shared responsibility between countries of origin, transit and destination, it provides a roadmap for improved governance of international migration through increased commitments from States, new innovative solutions, and a renewed focus on multi-stakeholder partnerships. The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) was presented to the General Assembly on 17 December 2018, as part of the annual General Assembly resolution of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The GCR is a mechanism for predictable and equitable burden- and responsibility-sharing among all States, with the objectives of easing pressures on host countries and communities, enhancing refugee self-reliance.



During the Mayoral Forum, mayors adopted the Marrakech Mayoral Declaration “Cities Working Together for Migrants and Refugees”. It calls for the full and formal recognition of the role of local authorities in the implementation, follow-up and review of both Global Compacts, recalling that they are at the forefront of managing the impact of migration as well as the promotion of inclusive, safe and sustainable societies, as migration remains primarily an urban and local phenomenon.

There is no delivery of a GCM if cities do not deliver”, said Marvis Rees, Mayor of Bristol. Indeed, as Antonio Vitorino, IOM’s Director General explained, “in an increasingly urbanised world, we should be connecting migration and urbanisation policies as is called for the in New Urban Agenda and that the right to the city should also apply to migrants if we are to leave no one behind”.

The declaration was presented at the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the GCM on 10-11 December 2018 in Marrakech, as well as to the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) that took place on 17 December 2018 in New-York. “Cities and local governments are not only instances that react to migration flows and implement measures enacted by other levels of government. They are your partners,” stated Ms. Valérie Plante, Mayoress of Montreal, to the participants of the GCM conference.

Cities and local and regional authorities have a key role to play in the implementation of both Global Compacts with cities also acting as the linchpin that can bring all necessary actors together from civil society to the private sector in order to ensure a whole-of-society impact”, stressed Mr. Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In that regard, mayors made commitments with respect to the implementation, follow-up and review of both GCM and GCR, and to future engagement within the framework of the Mayoral Mechanism that will be launched during the 2019 Global Forum on Migration and Development in Ecuador.

The 5th Mayoral Forum was co-organized by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) of the World Bank, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the government of Morocco, with the participation of the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and Cities Alliance. The Mayoral Forum has been made possible by the financial support of the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC).

The Marrakech Mayoral Declaration is available in FrenchSpanish and English. The Programme of the Mayoral Forum is available in French, Spanish and English



Session 1 - Advancing cities' goals: the role of the UN Global Compacts

Session 2 - Addressing and reducing vulnerabilities

Session 3 - Providing Access to Services

Session 4 - Empoyering migrants and societies through inclusion, social cohesion and employment


UNHCR: "The Global Compact on Refugees and the role of cities" (EN / FR / ES / AR)

IOM: "Promoting migration health through city leadership in implementing health-related commitments of the GCM and GCR" (EN / FR / ES / AR)

UNICEF: "Local government leadership to reduce and address vulnerabilities of migrant and displaced children" (EN / FR / ES / AR)

UN-Habitat: "Access to Adequate Housing: The Pathway to Migrants' Inclusion in Cities" (EN / FR / ES / AR)

Cities Alliance: "Migration Management in Secondary Cities in Developing Regions and the Need for Financing Mechanisms" (EN / FR / ES / AR)

Presentation of the Mayors Migration Council (EN / ES)