The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, has issued the following statement:
«Every day and with strength, refugees remind us of stories of suffering, of discrimination, of separation from families, lands and roots.
Each community, in its history, has been victim of tragedies of this nature.
The serious difficulties that are afflicting people in regions so close to us deserve careful reflection, both on the causes of these tragedies and on the responses that they require.
Italy, at the forefront of the constant and determined fulfilment of its duties of solidarity, assistance and hospitality, sees its high moral and legal commitment to protecting those who are fleeing persecution, enshrined in the 1951 Geneva Convention, as one of the fundamental principles of itsConstitution.
The meritorious experience of humanitarian transfers of particularly vulnerable refugees deserves to be mentioned, as it enables hundreds of beneficiaries to be rescued and brought to Italy - thanks to the various channels of cooperation between the authorities and civil society, to which I am very grateful.
Today also reminds us that no country alone can face this challenge.
Overcoming the emergency aspect and defining forward-looking and sustainable responses based on the principles of responsibility and solidarity must be concerted and shared by the international community and, above all, at European level, as enshrined in the treaties.
The Union must play a leading role in developing a common policy that can mitigate conflicts and support the security and development of those most exposed to humanitarian crises, through a structured partnership with countries and communities hosting refugees and asylum seekers.
The valuable work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees must be accompanied by a strong international initiative in this direction».