The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, released the following statement:
“Today, the tragedy of the refugees – women, men and children forced to leave their homes in search of a place to live – is more striking and relevant than ever, as the United Nations has also underlined.
For quite a long time, Italy has been doing its duty in matters of solidarity, assistance and reception towards those who, forced to flee their homelands, have been pursuing the hope of a better life and future for themselves and their children.
The commitment of the many fellow citizens who, on our national soil, in the Mediterranean and in other more distant areas of crisis and conflict on the planet, are keeping alive the spirit of humanity – deeply rooted in our Constitution – that distinguishes the Italian people is a manifestation of the sense of responsibility.
On the occasion of World Refugee Day, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all those who, in Italy and around the world, work with passion, commitment and dedication for this cause.
The international community must work with shared and forward-looking political choices in order to deal with a phenomenon that involves the entire globe. The European Union, in particular, must know how to intervene, without delegating to the countries of first-arrival the responsibility to confront the emergency. Current migration management must give way to structural interventions aimed at removing the political, climatic, economic and social causes that are responsible for so many sorrowful events.
In order to manage the massive migration of human beings, it is necessary to prevent conflicts and put an end to the ongoing ones, to support the countries of origin of the migrants by helping them to fight famine and malnutrition and to provide adequate support to neighbouring countries and areas subject to hostilities. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that even within the United Nations, Italy is strongly involved in the negotiations for the adoption of a global agreement on refugees, which represents the means for offering concrete and universally accepted solutions.
In urging the international community and the European Union to make further progress in this regard, the Italian Republic is complying with the standards laid down by the international laws concerning the reception of those individuals who are entitled to receive protection.”