The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Benedetto Della Vedova, has attended a high-level Panel on the protection of migrants’ human rights organised during the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The event was organised at the initiative of the African group at the United Nations.
The great majority of migratory flows by sea is directed towards Italy. 2013 saw about 43,000 arrivals, more than 3 times the figure for 2012, with two thirds seeking asylum. The same year, other migration routes into Europe saw little change (the eastern route) or a reduction (western route).
“Italy has become an example for humanitarian operations at sea”, commented Under-Secretary Della Vedova. “In 2013, we conducted rescue operations for 281 boats, saving more than 30,000 migrants. With the Mare Nostrum initiative launched after the tragedy off the shore of Lampedusa, 6127 migrants have been saved in 45 operations monitoring maritime borders”.
“Migration is a global phenomenon, which must be managed at the global level”, continued Della Vedova. “For that reason, Italy has decided to give migration priority status during our forthcoming Presidency of the European Union. We will be devoting concrete initiatives to the management of migration flows, with the focus on respecting human rights and on the geographical regions most affected by the phenomenon. Most notably, regions such as sub-Saharan Africa and the Horn of Africa, and the Mediterranean”.
“Italy and the EU are playing their part”, concluded the Under-Secretary. “It is only at the European level that we can conceive an effective policy on managing migration flows”.