The agenda included a briefing by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi. The meeting was particularly significant for both the subject matter involved and being the last address by a High Commissioner to the Security Council since 2009 (when the current UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, held the position).
The High Commissioner extended his thanks to the Italian presidency for giving him the opportunity to address the Council. He noted that the 15 members could prevent the crises causing migration and end them by implementing political solutions.
In his address, made on behalf of Italy, Undersecretary Amendola repeated the need to move from an emergency-based reproach to a more long-term approach. “We have to improve our ability to deal with the root causes of these crises, and give hope and dignity to the most vulnerable categories of people, especially young people” said the Undersecretary. Italy believes in the principle of “shared responsibility” between countries of origin, transit and destination. Regarding Libya, Amendola asked for an improvement to the admittance and protection of asylum seekers, refugees and displaced persons. The presence of the UN High Commissioner in the refugee camps to protect human rights would have to be increased to achieve this.
In conclusion, Amendola then reminded the Security Council that its main responsibility was to maintain international peace and security in order to meet the expectations of millions of people who count on the UN to help restore and build peace.