The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has been received today at the Foreign Ministry by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio. The talks have focused on the new initiatives to further strengthen the already excellent cooperation between Italy and the UNHCR.
While expressing his appreciation for the renewal of Grandi's mandate, Minister Di Maio has reaffirmed Italy's support for the work of the UNHCR in providing assistance to migrants and refugees, emphasising its strategic importance in areas of particular national interest, such as Libya and the Sahel. The recent missions – the Foreign Minister has said – bear witness to Italy's multidimensional commitment to promoting stabilisation in the regions of origin and transit, establishing a dialogue with the local authorities based on full respect for the rights of migrants and refugees.
The Minister has also confirmed financial support for the UNHCR-IOM Joint Plan for Libya and called for the full resumption of evacuation and resettlement operations for vulnerable refugees under the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM).
Italy – Minister Di Maio has continued – remains committed to ensuring complementary migration channels for the beneficiaries of international protection and trusts that the good practice of humanitarian corridors may be replicated in other European countries.
Again on the subject of EU migration policies, the meeting has provided an opportunity for an update on the ongoing negotiations for the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, outlining Italy’s position in favour of identifying concrete mechanisms for European solidarity with Member States of first entry, strengthening cooperation with third countries and recognising a priority role for the United Nations, which, thanks above all to UNHCR, support multiple assistance and protection activities for migrants and refugees.