Author Topic: GFMD succeeded in wasting public money, protesters declare  (Read 111 times)

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Offline Berto

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GFMD succeeded in wasting public money, protesters declare
« on: November 02, 2008, 01:12:39 AM »
GFMD succeeded in wasting public money, protesters declare
11/01/2008 | 01:01 PM

 MANILA, Philippines
— A group that led protests against the recently concluded 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Manila said on Saturday that the event only proved to be a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“The millions of pesos spent by the Arroyo government in hosting this useless event should have been used to rescue thousands of distressed Filipino workers stranded in foreign land, some of them ill and some on death row, in dire need of government\'s assistance," Migrante-Middle East said in a statement.

"What is mocking in the conduct of the 2nd GFMD is that migrant workers as the very subject of its discussion were not even heard by participating governments as they could best represent themselves in policy-formulation process. Therefore we could conclude that the 2nd GFMD like the previous one is but a useless inter-governments undertaking," said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante regional coordinator for the Middle East.

Monterona headed the group’s delegation to the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR), a gathering of various migrant groups in Manila to challenge the government sponsored 2nd GFMD.

Officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had said the Philippines was able to showcase its "best practices" in protection of its overseas workers in the GFMD. They also said the event was an opportunity to bring the issue of protection for the rights and welfare of OFWs to host countries.

Delegates from about 163 countries, including 18 foreign officials of ministerial level, attended the 2nd GFMD discussed ways of “protecting and empowering migrants for development." Next year’s GFMD will be held in Greece, with the integration of migration policies in development plans as the central theme.

Monterona noted that while the GFMD’s goals of discussing the problems of migration and development were laudable, its failure to come up with an action plan made it was useless exercise.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his keynote speech on Oct. 29, himself said the recommendations of the conference would be non-binding to the participating countries but he hoped these would help influence governments into adopting “best practices" on migration, especially in protecting the rights and welfare of migrants.

According to the International Organization on Migration (IOM), migrants around the world was estimated at 191 million in 2005, of which about 40 million were “illegals."

Of that number, 4.5 percent or 8,726,520 are Filipino nationals, many of whom are forced to seek jobs abroad due to lack of livelihood opportunities at home.

In contrast to the GFMD, Monterona said the IAMR which his group participated has developed an action plan which participants vowed to undertake in spite of their political and socio-cultural differences.

"Strengthening international solidarity between and among genuine, grassroots migrant workers organizations to advance migrant workers rights and welfare is one of the gains of the IAMR. This is most needed because migrant-sending governments are observed to be negligent to their respective migrant workers while receiving governments continue to resist in ratifying the United Nations Conventions on the Protection of Migrant Workers and members of their families," Monterona said.

Monterona further said that unlike the GFMD, the IAMR was a “genuine meeting of grassroots migrant workers\' organizations where the numerous migrants\' issues and concerns were properly discussed and ventilated by the very beings who were the subject of the discussions in the GFMD."

"Aside from the concrete actions to undertake for the protection and advancement of migrants\' human rights and welfare, participating migrant organizations headed by the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) and Migrante International have also initially discussed the 2nd IAMR to counter the 3rd GFMD to be held in Greece next year," Monterona said. - D’Jay Lazaro, GMANews.TV

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GFMD succeeded in wasting public money, protesters declare
« on: November 02, 2008, 01:12:39 AM »

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