At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation yesterday, Minister Angelino Alfano met a large group of NGOs potentially interested in working in Libya.
“I wanted to organise this meeting on my return from New York to inform you of the launch of a first request for tenders to provide humanitarian aid in Libya. Thanks to a number of highly satisfactory meetings at the United Nations, it may now be possible to work directly in Libya, something that had been precluded until recently: like Secretary-General Guterres, we are now convinced that a political solution can be found to the crisis based on an action plan by special representative, Salamé. Thanks to our intervention, the UN Refugee Agency and International Organisation for Migration are preparing to return to the country.
“There was unanimous approval for our position in New York: Libya is at the top of the international agenda and there is broad agreement that negotiation initiatives should be reduced to just one. Our ability to combine solidarity with security has been hailed as a model of success; our views on the importance of involving civil and municipal society is also shared, as it helps people understand that stability and security are the dividends of peace,” he said .
“Humanitarian assistance for migrants is a cornerstone of our policy. After saving the lives of more than 500,000 migrants, we must carefully monitor their living conditions in the Libyan camps with a view towards finding a better solution. An increasingly efficient plan of action will therefore have to be devised with the international organisations. We would like the Italian NGOs, who have experience in the sector and can operate in crisis areas, to make an important contribution, in association with the Libyan authorities, and take account of the priority needs of operator safety.
“We will therefore work towards launching a first request for tenders by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (AICS) to provide humanitarian aid to Libya, and I am delighted to see that you are interested in taking part. Our aim is to improve the conditions of migrants, but we also have to support assisted return programmes and expedite on-site requests for international protection.” The minister said the meeting today with the NGOs was “useful” after proposing to set up a permanent committee to define the humanitarian mission in Libya.