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Ukraine: Di Maio to Guterres and Grandi, full support to refugees and humanitarian assistance

ROME/NEW YORK/GENEVA, MARCH 8 – The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, had telephone conversations today with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi to discuss the latest developments in the Ukrainian war and the related humanitarian crisis, caused by the Russian invasion, that spread to neighbouring countries.

Speaking with Guterres, Di Maio reaffirmed the full support of Italy to the initiatives and actions of the United Nations, first of all on the humanitarian side, highlighting the urgent need for a ceasefire to allow the evacuation of civilians and the opening of humanitarian corridors, following the request made by the international community in the General Assembly with a resolution adopted with141 votes in favour, only 5 against and 35 abstentions.

The Minister and the Secretary General discussed the “scope for mediation that the United Nations and other actors can have to contribute to a rapid resolution of the conflict”. Italy restated its utmost commitment to ensuring humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian population in close coordination with the UN system.

“The commitment of the entire international community is needed to cope with an increasingly widespread humanitarian crisis”, said Di Maio in his conversation with Grandi, reiterating Italy’s maximum support to UNHCR activities in support of the Ukrainian civil population fleeing the conflict.

Writing on his Facebook page, the Minister noted that “it is necessary to establish a parallel table for a humanitarian truce, involving international actors from the United Nations. Rescuing innocent people is our priority and we must succeed as soon as possible”. Di Maio added that in Ukraine the Russian army’s bombs continue to explode and fall on humanitarian corridors, which the Russian government keeps on disrespecting: “More civilians, more children still victims of the conflict. This must be stopped”.

In the meanwhile, humanitarian aid from the Italian Cooperation departed by land from the UNHRD Base in Brindisi, directed to the collection centre in Niemce, Poland. On board are about 20 tons of goods of first necessity and shelters (including blankets, tents, generators, lamps, heaters and sanitary kits) in support of the Ukrainian population. The operation was carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Deparment of Civil Protection. (@Onuitalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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