IRCC Deputy Minister Transition Binder 2019 – Key International Stakeholders

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International Stakeholders

Five Country Ministerial

The Five Country Ministerial (FCM) is a pre-eminent annual meeting of public safety and immigration ministers from the Five Eyes countries (Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand). The group meets annually to discuss national security and migration issues of shared importance, including terrorism, cyber security, irregular migration, and transnational crime. Outcomes of Ministerial meetings inform work that is assigned to Five Eyes forums, including the Migration Five, the Border 5, the Cyber 5, and others. Ministerial meeting agendas are developed and ongoing FCM work is progressed by FCM Sherpas (DG-level) and the Executive Steering Group (ESG), who meet annually and conduct monthly teleconferences, in addition to regular close coordination among officials at all levels.

Minister Hussen and Minister Goodale (Public Safety) attended this year’s FCM meeting which took place from July 29 to 30, 2019 in London, UK, on the theme of “Emerging Threats.” The agenda included a session for Ministers on “Borders and Immigration”, [REDACTED]


All levels up to and including the Minister engage with the FCM. The Director General of International and Intergovernmental Relations is IRCC’s Sherpa, and the Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic and Program Policy is IRCC’s ESG member. Through this engagement, IRCC has sought to work with partners to focus on areas of mutual agreement, [REDACTED]

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Migration Five

The Migration Five (M5) is a forum comprising the immigration agencies of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Canada is represented in the M5 by both Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The group has evolved from a consultative forum to an action-oriented body focused on collaboration on joint initiatives and information exchange to achieve improvements in security, service, and savings. With the addition of immigration ministers to the Five Country Ministerial (FCM) in 2016, the M5 is now considered a forum of the FCM. The M5 is supported by a permanent secretariat which is housed in and fully resourced by New Zealand.  


The M5 is led by the Heads of Delegation (HODs), who meet at an annual plenary and set the overall direction for the group’s work. IRCC’s HOD has traditionally been the Deputy Minister (although the other four countries have ADM-level HODs). The Department’s Deputy HOD is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic and Program Policy. Various Directors General and other IRCC officials also participate in M5 working groups. The Department currently chairs three working groups: M5 Traveler Experience and Facilitation Working Group, the Migration Health Working Group, and the M5 Heads of Operations Working Group.

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Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees

The Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC) is an informal, non-decision making forum established in 1985 that is focused on the exchange of best practices, policy and data between partner countries on issues related to international migration. The IGC brings together 17 traditionally like-minded countries, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the European Commission.

In May 2019, Canada assumed the role of Chair for the 2019/20 year under the theme of “Game-Changing Solutions: Applying Innovation to the Migration Management Continuum.” In addition to chairing the IGC in 2019/20, Canada serves as the chair of the Immigration Working Group.


Membership in the IGC provides Canada with valuable opportunities to discuss key challenges, explore innovative solutions, learn best practices and showcase Canada’s programs and policies. Canada actively participates in each of the IGC’s six working groups, which are focused thematically on: Admission, Control and Enforcement; Asylum and Refugees; Country of Origin Information; Immigration; Integration; and Technology. IRCC leads Canada’s engagement with the IGC in consultation with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), and contributes an annual membership fee of $165,000 CAD.

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Global Forum for Migration and Development

The Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) is a state-led, non-decision making body which provides a venue to informally discuss policies, challenges and opportunities related to migration and development, and to engage with other stakeholders to foster practical and action-oriented outcomes. The GFMD is comprised of 195 states and 43 observers. It also includes participation of the business community, civil society and municipalities. GFMD annual meetings are driven by an overarching theme set by the Chair and include a number of roundtable sessions focused on a variety of migration-related topics. The current Chair is Ecuador.


The GFMD has provided Canada with a platform to influence the international migration discourse, demonstrate Canadian leadership on migration issues and collect international best practices to share with the Government of Canada. IRCC leads Canada’s engagement with the GFMD and since 2010, has voluntarily contributed USD $25,000 per year through the Migration Policy Development Program.

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International Organization for Migration

Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. The IOM works closely with governments, non-governmental and other organizations on migration management; to advance understanding of migration issues; to encourage social and economic development through migration; and to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. The IOM is also a key delivery agent for IRCC migration-related programs, including conducting health examinations of migrants prior to departure for Canada, supporting the transportation of refugees and other protected persons to Canada, delivering the Canadian Orientation Abroad Program, and providing care to those intercepted abroad as irregular migrants as part of the Global Assistance for Irregular Migration Program.


Canada is the IOM’s fifth largest donor and contributes $2.4 million CAD each year in membership fees (paid by IRCC) and approximately $60 million CAD in project funding (60% IRCC, 40% GAC). IRCC coordinates the Government of Canada’s relationship with the IOM, representing Canada on the IOM Council and paying Canada’s assessed contributions to the organization. All levels including the Minister engage with the IOM. Last year, there were over 18 major meetings, including: International Dialogue on Migration, Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance, Council, Working Groups on IOM-UN Relations and Budget.

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Regional Conference on Migration

The Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), created in 1996, is an intergovernmental forum comprised of 11 member states from North America, Central America, and the Dominican Republic, created to exchange information, experiences and best practices to promote regional migration cooperation. Participating international organizations and civil society are also invited to engage with RCM member states. Direction and decision-making for the RCM is conducted through an annual “Vice-Minister’s Meeting”, [REDACTED]. A Chair rotates annually and is responsible for coordinating and facilitating key RCM activities and meetings as well as identifying high priority areas for the coming year. The Chair is currently held by Guatemala.


The RCM holds discussions on a number of migration-related priorities in the region, such as: the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants; effective migration management; migration and development; consular protection to migrants; combatting human trafficking and migrant smuggling; refugee protection in Central America and Mexico; labour migration; gender and migrant children’s issues; and migration health.

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Trans-Atlantic Council on Migration

The Trans-Atlantic Council on Migration (TCM) was launched in 2008 Migration Policy Institute (MPI), an independent, non-partisan, migration policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the analysis, development, and evaluation of national and international migration and refugee policies. The MPI provides countries with the tools to improve immigration and integration policies through authoritative research and analysis, opportunities for learning and dialogue, and the development of new ideas to address complex policy questions. MPI actively produces and promotes professional research, and is considered a global leader in engaging governments and policymakers internationally on migration issues.

The MPI is also the main promoter and coordinator for the Trans-Atlantic Council on Migration (TCM), which is comprised of senior public officials, business leaders, and academics from Europe, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, which IRCC Deputy Ministers have attended regularly. The TCM meets twice a year. Meetings are closed to the media and operate under Chatham House rules. The last TCM was held in February 2019 in Vienna, Austria on the theme of “Rebuilding Community After Crisis: An Updated Social Contract for a New Migration Reality.”


IRCC provides funding to the MPI for the TCM through the Migration Policy Development Program (MPDP) ($100,000 CDN in support of its activities for 2018/2019 and 2019/2020). The past President of the MPI, Demetrios Papademetriou, was highly engaged with the Government of Canada and built positive relations with IRCC, CBSA, PS, and GAC at senior levels.

Dr. Andrew Selee became President in 2017 and visited Ottawa for a series of high level meetings on May 29, 2019. During this visit to Ottawa, Dr. Selee had a bilateral meeting with Acting Deputy Minister Lori MacDonald, Deputy Minister Marta Morgan (Foreign Affairs), and Deputy Secretary of Operations Catrina Tapley (Privy Council Office). In addition, he gave presentations to IRCC, CBSA, PS, and GAC staff on the role of MPI, migration policy in the U.S. and migration trends and challenges in Latin America.

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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also known as the United Nations Refugee Agency, is responsible for protecting and assisting people forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution. UNHCR provides shelter, food, water, medical care and other life-saving assistance to refugees, stateless persons, and, to a certain extent, internally displaced persons. UNHCR is one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world. The UNHCR plays a key role in the delivery of Canada’s humanitarian assistance programming abroad, which is managed by Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

For IRCC, UNHCR plays a critical role in the successful delivery of Canada’s Refugee Resettlement Program, by identifying and referring the most vulnerable refugees around the world for resettlement to Canada. UNHCR also monitors Canada’s legal obligations with respect to asylum and refugee protection, pursuant to Article 35 of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Its doctrine and advice is an important perspective to include in IRCC’s refugee programs and policy development. UNHCR’s recent public engagement on refugee reform and border issues has been instrumental to bolster support for the government’s efforts.


The UNHCR is among Canada’s most trusted humanitarian partners. Canada is a top-10 donor to the UNHCR. Canada’s relationship with UNHCR is managed by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC engages with UNHCR Canada with respect to Canada’s domestic programs and compliance with international norms, as well as with UNHCR Geneva on international protection issues.

UNHCR led the development of the Global Compact on Refugees (the Compact), which was adopted in December 2018 by the United Nations General Assembly. Canada played an active role in positively influencing the development of the Compact, leveraging our status as a major resettlement country and leading humanitarian donor, and the growing global recognition of the efficiency of Canada’s asylum, resettlement and integration models.

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Canada’s International Migration Capacity Building and Engagement

PDF: Canada’s International Migration Capacity Building Engagement Poster (1.21 MB)

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) leads Canada’s international engagement and capacity building efforts to promote safe, orderly and regular migration to Canada and globally, while also deterring irregular migration.

Engagement not only supports domestic migration objectives, but also fosters global cooperation to strengthen international migration management and refugee protection. While significant international engagement occurs bilaterally, the Department engages in a number of key international forums and supports capacity building efforts to advance Canadian priorities and objectives.

Why does Canada invest in capacity building?

Why does Canada engage internationally?

International Migration Capacity Building Program (IMCBP)

Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI)

International Engagement: multilateral forums and institutions

Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Regional Conference on Migration (RCM)

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)

Migration Five (M5)

International Engagement: Countries and Territories

For inquiries or more information on this poster or Canada’s international migration initiatives, please contact

International Migration Capacity Building Program (IMCBP)

Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) active programs

Multilateral forums and institutions

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