The Regional Conference on Migration's relaunch process
The 24th Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) was held November 12-14 in Guatemala City, under the presidency pro tempore of Guatemala. The motto of the conference was “Relaunching the Regional Conference on Migration as a consultation process in the context of the current migration dynamic.”
RCM is a non-binding voluntary regional consultation process which enables consensus-based decision making and provides a space for dialogue between its eleven member countries on regional and international migration, ensuring better coordination, transparency, and cooperation.
The 24th Conference began with a meeting of the Regional Consultation Group on Migration (GRCM) on November 12, 2019. During this meeting, various issues were addressed prior to the Meeting of Vice Ministers, which was held the 13th and 14th, such as the review of the RCM Draft Charter and the new Conference Strategic Plan 2019-2022. IOM, through the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-The Caribbean, supported RCM’s efforts to develop a proposal for the Strategic Plan for the review and approval of the member countries.
In the meeting’s Declaration, the Vice Ministers stated that “the relaunch of the RCM will be oriented to the strengthening and consolidation of the Conference as a first instance for political dialogue on migration issues, coordination and joint actions that contribute to an effective migration governance in all its dimensions, with full respect for the sovereignty of Member Countries and as a cross-cutting axis for the protection of human rights”.
The declaration of the Vice Ministers likewise recognizes the need to update the mechanisms for working with international observer organizations and with the Regional Network of Civil Organizations for Migration (RNCOM), in order to align them with the needs and priorities of RCM such that they can contribute to the desired transformations and results. Representatives of the Regional Network of Civil Organizations for Migration (RNCOM), UNODC, ILO, ICRC, IOM, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the observer countries Peru and Ecuador attended the Conference.
Costa Rica will hold the Presidency Pro Tempore of RCM for 2020, with the motto “Towards migration in action.” IOM has already confirmed its desire to support the PPT, the Executive Secretary, and the four Working Groups created to promote regional efforts to strengthen effective migration governance, respond to emerging migration trends and emergency situations, protect the human rights of migrants and particularly of groups in vulnerable situations, to promote appropriate connections between migration and sustainable development, and to strengthen, modernize, and manage borders.
 The member countries are Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.