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Mogherini in Lampedusa – Ceremony to commemorate anniversary of tragedy

Institutions, non-governmental organisations and society must join forces in a “civil alliance” to tackle the major issue that is immigration. In her speech at the ceremony in Lampedusa to commemorate the disaster of 3 October 2013, Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini stressed the need to work together at a number of levels. “It is a moral, political and institutional duty to be here”, she said.

Action is necessary on 3 lines in particular. “First, we must go on saving human lives, building a national reception and asylum system, and opening up legal channels of immigration”, said Mogherini.

Second, “we need to work on the transit countries, Libya first and foremost. As soon as that country has a government – soon, we hope – our first request will be for it to sign the Geneva Convention and for the UNHCR to be able to work in the country”.

And third, and last, continued the Minister, “policies are needed for long-term human rights, conflict prevention, development cooperation and access to resources. Decisions must be taken now, or else the people who in 10 or 20 years time are in positions of institutional responsibility will find themselves facing the same problems”.