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Security Council - Briefing of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Date:

11/02/2017


Security Council - Briefing of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Statement by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Vincenzo Amendola, at the Security Council briefing of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Filippo Grandi ---

First of all, I would like to thank High Commissioner Filippo Grandi for his remarks and for the work carried out by UNCHR on the ground, assisting all those in need of international protection, including the victims of trafficking.

Also, allow me to thank all Members of the Council for their insightful contributions to today’s briefing on an issue that deserves an urgent, coherent and collective response as well as preventive action whenever is possible. We cannot close our eyes in front of human suffering. We cannot hide its tragic consequences on future generations. Therefore, our today is a call for action.

Italy, of course, will keep playing its part. The Refugees Agency can count on Italy’s full support. From Myanmar to Libya, from Somalia to Jordan and Yemen, we will work side by side with the Agency to ensure protection and assistance to civilian population, in particular the most vulnerable categories and those who deserve special protection.

First of all, we are aware of the increasing need for financial resources in order to operate in multiple crises scenarios at global level. That is why we have decided to further increase our financial support and we plan to remain one of the main donors of the Agency.

Besides our annual voluntary contribution to the regular budget, so far, we have already approved additional humanitarian emergencies projects. Further initiatives will be implemented by the end of the year. The dramatic figures provided by the High Commissioner and the many critical situations he has addressed in his briefing, clearly show that we are facing one of the most serious challenges to international stability and especially to the respect of fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as to International Humanitarian Law.

We must shift the focus on human mobility from an emergency approach to an encompassing and long-term one. We need to enhance our capacity to tackle the root causes of the crises and give hope and dignity to the most vulnerable categories of the civilian population, especially youth.

Indeed, the 2016 New York declaration for Refugees and Migrants has improved the way in which the international community has begun to look at and they respond to such a large and disorderly movement of refugees and migrants.

We need a shared response in cooperation among the Countries of origin, transit, and destination .
In our opinion, the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, and the Global Compact on refugees, to be adopted next year, should represent a step forward in preventing and stemming the root causes of forced migration and refugees flows. We shared our proposals, which are based on three main actions: “investing”, “protecting” and “valuing”: “investing” in supporting the Countries of origin and transit, “protecting” refugees and the most vulnerable migrants, “valuing” the many positive aspects of migration flows.

Italy's priority is to promote two key principles. The first one is partnership between countries of origin, transit and destination of flows. This is growing evidence of the need to collaborate on migration, not just to fight trafficking in human beings and criminal networks associated with migratory movements, but also to deal with the root causes of migration. The second key principle, that I already mentioned, is “Shared responsibility”, both in managing the migratory flows and in protecting migrants and refugees, especially the most vulnerable ones, like women, children and people with disabilities.

With particular reference to the Global Compact on refugees, increasing resettlements and complementary pathways for admissions is essential to cope with the current large-scale influx of refugees from crisis areas such as Syria, Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Myanmar.

In Libya, it is critical to improve access to protection and support for asylum seekers, refugees and internally displaced people and vulnerable migrants, in the light of the recent drastic decrease in sea arrivals in Italy from Libya, on the one end, and the potential increase in the number of those remaining in Libya, in unsafe and precarious conditions, on the other. Scaling up the presence of UNHCR in Libya is important as mentioned for the protection of human rights in refugees camps.

The Security Council can play an important role in preventing and stemming refugees crisis, by promoting and encourage the prevention and resolution of conflicts, which are the main causes of large scale movements of displaced people. In this context, I would like to express once again Italy’s support to Secretary General’s “peace continuum” approach: from prevention to peacekeeping, from post-conflict recovery to inclusive national reconciliation and sustainable development processes. The Security Council can play its role, including when renewing or drafting peacekeeping missions’ mandates. In fact, as the High Commissioner has highlighted, peacekeeping can be a fundamental and extraordinary tools to protect refugees and migrants and to facilitate their relocation.

And, most importantly, this Council needs to act with resolve and unity in order to put an end to the protracted crises and conflicts that force people to flee.

I have named all such crises and protracted conflicts: we, as members of the Security Council, have the primary responsibility in maintaining international peace and security and we must thus meet the expectations of those millions of people counting on us to restore and build peace.

Thank you.

 


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