In December 2000, the ECOWAS Commission in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) inaugurated a Regional Consultative Process (RCP) with the aim of accelerating the regional integration process and addressing problematic migration issues. MIDWA was specifically designed to encourage ECOWAS Member States to discuss common migration issues and concerns in a regional context for which durable solutions may not be easily achievable on a national level.
Regional Dialogues on migration such as MIDWA have paved the way for a global approach on migration such as most notably the Berne Initiative, the report by the Global Commission on International Migration, and the first United Nations High Level Dialogue Migration and Development (UNHLD) of 2006. To this end a series of inter-state dialogues, workshops and meetings involving ECOWAS Member States, relevant Partners and stakeholders have been held. Prominent amongst them were a series of expert meetings held between April and May 2017 to elaborate the new ECOWAS Common Approach on Migration which was adopted by the 33rd regular meeting of ECOWAS Head of States and Governments in January 2008.