Fourth Mayoral Forum in Berlin


Mon, 06/26/2017 to Tue, 06/27/2017

Type of event

Mayoral Forum


Theme: “Mayors as Humanitarian and Development Actors: Preparing, Welcoming and Integrating”

Date: June 26-27, 2017

Location: Rotes Rathaus (City Hall) in Berlin, Germany

The focus of this year’s Mayoral Forum was “Mayors as Humanitarian and Development Actors: Preparing, Welcoming and Integrating.” Thus, Mayors from around the world were invited to share their experiences in straddling the humanitarian imperatives of reception of large numbers of new arrivals whether from conflict, natural disaster or other phenomena. Mayors spoke on the subject of longer-term challenges of governing integration: fostering pluralism, by which recognition of the value of diversity also implies acknowledging its complexities and struggles. In this connection, they discussed whether and if so how, migration has fostered economic growth and human development in their communities. Lastly, Mayors were invited to explain progress through city-to-city partnerships, and the value of networks amongst cities within their countries, regions and beyond to learn about new and promising policies and practices. More information on this year’s focus is available via the concept note, the programme and/or JMDI newspiece of the event.

A notable outcome of the Forum was a Mayoral Declaration endorsed by the forty (40) cities represented and submitted to the preparatory processes for two distinct processes: the “global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration” (GCM), and the global compact for refugees. The Declaration serves to inform national governments, through global dialogues like the GFMD and the Global Compact on Migration: (i) on what cities can and are doing to harness the development potential of migration, (ii) on what obstacles cities face in serving increasingly diverse societies and (iii) on a set of recommendations and actions to take in order to ensure that in our societies world wide, no-one is left behind.  This Declaration is available in EnglishFrench, and Spanish

Specifically, the Declaration calls on: 

1. Greater coherence of public policies on migration, development and forced displacement in all related sectors affected by human mobility, in line with the ambition of the new Agenda for Sustainable Development;

2. Recognition of the key role of cities as actors in the front line to meet the needs and reception of migrants and displaced persons;

3. Taking into account the innovative policies developed by cities in national legislation;

4. The devolution of competences and the mobilization of sufficient resources to local authorities to strengthen their capacity to respond to migration issues;

5. The active involvement of local and regional authorities at all decision-making levels and in the implementation of migration policies. This implies that better cooperation between the different levels of governance is required for a more efficient management of migration.


The Berlin Forum was planned to dovetail on the Global Mayoral Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) that took place also in Berlin from June 28-30. The GFMD is a voluntary and non-binding process which is government-led and open to all Member States and Observers of the United Nations, with the objective being to advance understanding around migration and development linkages as well as to advance action-oriented outcomes. The GFMD has already linked Civil Society to this process and is looking to also include the voices of local actors. 

The Mayoral Forum sessions were configured in such a way as to have cities provide their views on the topics that were be discussed amongst the national delegations during the GFMD. 

  • Session I focused on: responding to displacement and the relationship with longer-term development solutions at the local level.  Mayors were invited to share their experiences in straddling the humanitarian imperatives of preparation and reception of large numbers of new arrivals whether from conflict, natural disaster or other phenomena. 
  • Session II focused on: efforts to ensure policy coherence and coordination within government (national and local) with a view to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and additional migration priorities, and the role of cities in this regard.  Mayors were invited to speak on the subject of the longer-term challenges and opportunities of welcoming and integrating newcomers; how to govern diversity by buttressing the development potential of migration and displacement, while also acknowledging migration’s complexities and struggles. 
  • Session III focused on: how cities are best placed to promote multi-stakeholder partnerships and harness the potential of civil society, the private sector and decentralised cooperation dynamics with other cities in order to make migration work for development. Mayors were invited to share progress in the context of inter-city partnerships, and explore the value of city networks, within their country, between regions and beyond, to learn about new and promising policies and practices.


You can find all these policy briefs here


Training Day on Migration and Local Development: 26th June

As in the previous two editions, the UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) has conducted a one-day training based on the My JMDI Toolbox training materials for interested participants attending the 4th Mayoral Forum. This has brought participants together to discuss and learn about the topics that have been addressed in the Mayoral Forum. The training session is therefore a complementary part of the Mayoral Forum and has given participants a chance to interact, exchange knowledge and kick start the discussions that have been carried over into the Forum itself. This has been the third training session to be carried out within the context of the Mayoral Forum. Previous editions have been appraised as an excellent capacity building initiative as well as a good tool to kick start dialogue and partnerships among the participants. Indeed, dialogue and partnerships have been formed among various local and regional authorities on this basis.

The methodology employed for the training has been participatory and lean heavily on group work for maximum knowledge sharing and stimulation of dialogue ahead of the Forum itself. Participants had the Toolbox materials in a USB and any necessary printed materials.

The training is based on the JMDI’s training materials’ My JMDI Toolbox’ which was created through the collection of the lessons learnt, experience and good practices of the JMD supported-projects across eight countries globally. 

“My JMDI Toolbox” and complementary online ‘e-Toolbox’ are training materials which offer a flexible and comprehensive tool for local stakeholders (local authorities, civil society, migrants’ associations, academia, international organizations etc.) on how to mainstream migration into local development planning in order to be able to better harness the development potential of migration. 

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