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Assemblea Generale – Riunione della Terza Commissione sul “Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions”

Discorso pronunciato dall’Italia, alla Riunione della Terza Commissione sul “Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions” —

Mr. President,

Italy aligns itself to the statement delivered by the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks in its national capacity.

At the outset, I wish to thank and convey the full support of my Country to the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, for his work and especially for the personal commitment and visionary leadership that he brought to this role with a view to providing relief and assistance to millions of people around the world. I also want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the daily work carried out by UNHCR personnel, often deployed not just close to, but within active combat zones, with great threats posed to their lives. Let me stress once again Italy’s resolute commitment to protect humanitarian and medical personnel in all emergency contexts and to ensure the full respect of international humanitarian and human rights law as well as of refugee law.

Mr. President,

The number of forcibly displaced people in the world is increasing at an alarming pace, standing now at 68.5 millions, of which about 25 million refugees. These are people that armed conflict, persecution and other forms of violence forced to flee their homes, subject to all kinds of violation of their human rights, exploitation and prey to the trafficking networks.

The large number of forcibly displaced people in the world represents an unprecedented challenge that requires a holistic and multilevel approach, as well as a coordinated humanitarian response based on the principles of partnership, solidarity and shared responsibility, and in this context we commend the way UNHCR has been tackling this challenge . Because of its geographical position,

Italy is well acquainted with the challenges posed by massive mixed migration flows: over the last years, my Country has spared no effort to rescue people at sea and to save lives of migrants and refugees across the Mediterranean, to fight against traffickers, to ensure protection of people on the move, to address the root causes of migration and to offer economic alternatives to the business model based on irregular migration and smuggling. We have established, in this context, the so-called humanitarian corridors, a unique and innovative initiative that has allowed transferring to Italy people trapped in armed and life-threating situations in a safe, orderly and regular manner. Thanks to such an initiative, Mr. President, we have welcomed in Rome over 1,500 refugees, mostly vulnerable people, including unaccompanied children and women.

Mr. President,

Such a background calls for an urgent reformulation of the international community’s response to the issue of people on the move based on a more equitable sharing of the responsibility. This principle was enshrined in the New York Declaration and it is now our duty to fulfil the commitments taken two years ago. We welcome the positive results ensued by the application of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework in 15 countries, as mentioned multiple times by the High Commissioner, and believe this is the right path ahead to follow.

In this regard, I wish to commend the High Commissioner for the transparent and effective manner with which formal consultations on the Global Compact for Refugees were conducted in Geneva, for the constant update provided to delegations in New York and congratulate him on their successful conclusion.

In our view, the Global Compact for Refugees is a sound, holistic, multi-sectorial and concrete new plan of action to address the refugees’ issue. The framework for international cooperation therein established is founded upon shared principles, commitments and understandings of all aspects related to refugees, including the humanitarian, development and human rights-related dimensions and will in our view maximize development cooperation alongside, and as a complement to, humanitarian assistance.

We are convinced that the Global Compact for Refugees will offer durable solutions to both refugees and host communities, providing the latter with a timely, predictable and sustainable support.

We hence fully share the Compact’s content and objectives and look forward to its adoption, jointly with the UNHCR Omnibus Resolution, here in New York in December. Please be assured of Italy’s support and active cooperation to this end.

I thank you.