Thirteenth Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration meeting



The Thirteenth Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM) meeting was convened on May 7-8 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and was kindly hosted by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.

This event marked the first dialogue meeting held in Malaysia since 2016. Much has changed since then, including the horrific mass displacement of Rohingya to Bangladesh, people fleeing the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and more recent crises in Gaza and Ukraine. The 2021 coup in Myanmar has led to an ongoing civil war that continues to threaten the stability of the region.

The 13th ADFM meeting focused on enhancing cooperation among Indo-Pacific states to improve responses to forced displacement and support for displaced communities. Over the two-day meeting, participants concentrated on several key themes:

  • Reviewing commitments made by regional countries at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum, supporting their implementation, and improving regional governance.
  • Addressing the regional implications of ongoing instability in Myanmar, including people smuggling and trafficking, and exploring possible solutions.
  • Exploring options for regional responsibility-sharing and cross-country support for refugees in the Asia Pacific, including access to livelihoods, education, and strengthening asylum system capacities.
Participants discussed commitments from the 2023 Global Refugee Forum, Myanmar's instability, and regional responsibility-sharing for refugees.

During the first session of the 13th ADFM meeting, participants reviewed and took stock of commitments and pledges made at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum. Over 1,600 individual pledges were made by governments, private sector, UN and civil society actors linked to the December 2023 Global Refugee Forum. This is additional to over 1,400 pledges made at the first Forum in 2019.

Analysis by the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) has found that most pledges made in and towards the Asia Pacific focused on two of the GCR objectives: enhancing refugee self-reliance and easing pressure on host countries. Far fewer pledges were made in this region on third country solutions or improving conditions in origin countries.

Participants discussed the opportunities for collaboration between states on implementing pledges made at the forum, and ways to ensure pledges could best be progressed for the benefit of refugees and host communities in the region.

Participants from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Phillipines, and the United States gathered in Kuala Lumpur for the 13th ADFM meeting.

During the meeting’s second session, participants were provided an update on the current situation in Myanmar, which included the state of conflict, new conscription laws and recent international and regional responses.

Participants then discussed how states can best prepare to support those in need, how the region can be prepared for future engagement with Myanmar and what recommendations the ADFM can make to the new UN special envoy as she takes up her new role.

The final session was a plenary discussion to confirm next steps and the ADFM forward work plan. CPD, as well as the other ADFM partner organisations ISIS, BRIN and IHRP were thankful to the time and deep engagement from participants and attendees. The 13th ADFM meeting was another great instalment in a long line of important meetings and we look forward to meeting with everyone again for the next meeting.

Key documents from the Thirteenth Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration meeting

More about the ADFM:

The Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM) was established in 2015 to be an independent Track 1.5 forum for genuine dialogue on the critical forced migration issues facing the region. The ADFM has contributed to changes in governance, policy and practice benefiting refugees, stateless, and trafficked persons, in partnership with the region’s institutions and national governments.

The ADFM Secretariat is convened by CPD in Australia, in collaboration with partners there from the Indonesian National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia and the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies. We are very grateful for their ongoing partnership and support of this work, which could only be achieved through this unique collaboration.