The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, sent the following message to Mons. Gian Carlo Perego, Director-General of the Migrantes Foundation:
«I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Migrantes Foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference and to all those who, on the 102nd World Day for Migrants and Refugees, have engaged in a common reflection, as called for by the Holy Father in his message.
The constant effort to raise public awareness on all those who flee from wars, persecutions, poverty and forced migrations and look at Europe as a place offering a future and hope, is all the more significant in a context, unprecedented in modern times, in which people are violently coerced to move and the fundamental values of civil cohabitation seem to be challenged by inequalities, injustices, contrasts and conflicts, sometimes inspired by extremisms of allegedly religious origin.
The year that has just come to a close, with its tragic toll of victims, especially in the Mediterranean Basin, evidently testifies to a dramatic reality that questions and deeply wounds all our consciences.
In order to perform a truly effective action, assuring protection to those entitled to asylum and, at the same time, the security of the communities offering them shelter, we need common policies capable of managing epochal phenomena, which reflect the unavoidable interdependence of a globalised world, also after the emergency phase. We need closer international cooperation in recognising the status of refugees and relocating them, so as to combat illegal transits, in addition to human trafficking and the exploitation of human beings.
The Migrantes Foundation's consistent commitment over the years has proven to be essential in increasing the reasons for dialogue and the capacity to coexist within a context of diversity, a necessary prerequisite in order to assure peace, solidarity and respect for human dignity in every area of the world.
Permit me to extend my sympathy to you, the President of the Foundation, to His Excellency Monsignor Nunzio Galantino, the Secretary-General of the Italian Episcopal Conference, and to all those participating in the celebration of this Day».
Rome, 12 January 2016