UAE builds unique online platform to host global migration summit

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Final preparations are underway in the UAE ahead of a major week-long virtual migration summit starting on Monday, January 18.

The 13th Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

For the first time, the meeting will take place entirely online, using state-of-the art technology.

The UAE has built its own unique online platform for the occasion. It integrates multiple technologies to allow delegates to attend meetings, listen to interpreters across the four official Summit languages, organise their agendas and chat with one another.

More than 1,700 senior officials from around the world have registered to take part in the seven-day event.

Delegates are representing over 100 governments, as well as a number of global institutions, including the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, and the European Union.

Reflecting the rapid adoption of video conferencing technology over the last twelve months, the team organising the Summit has already road-tested the approach over the course of the UAE Chairmanship.

Plans early last year for five major Regional Consultations had to be rapidly re-arranged after the COVID-19 pandemic halted international travel.

Instead, the UAE organisers held dozens of individual online events for the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East and South Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas between May and July 2020.

Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary for International Relations and Communications said, "The UAE’s agenda for migration and development will be at the centre of global discussions over the next seven days. This Summit is a catalyst for our priorities, including increased global collaboration and innovative partnerships that improve the lives of people around the world."

"Our goal is to deliver a world-class Summit – despite the extreme challenges of COVID-19 – using ground-breaking technology and inviting international leaders to address issues of global importance. This is a major opportunity to showcase to an international audience the extraordinary journey that the UAE has been on over the last fifty years, thanks in part to the many people from around the world who have joined us in building up this country," he added.

The GFMD is an inter-governmental meeting of senior officials that gathers annually to discuss how migration is governed around the world. It has led to a number of major global initiatives, bringing together governments with representatives from business, civil society, local administrations.

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