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martedì, Maggio 28, 2024

Lampedusa: UNHCR to the Security Council, “Italy should not be left alone”

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 28 – “The situation in Lampedusa is a matter of serious concern. UNHCR appreciates the efforts of the authorities to rapidly decongest the island, but Italy cannot be left alone in responding to the needs of arrivals,” said Ruven Menikdiwela, Director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), during a meeting of the Security Council.

“UNHCR – she added – has repeatedly called for a regionally agreed mechanism for the disembarkation and redistribution of migrants arriving by sea, in a spirit of responsibility-sharing and solidarity with frontline state,” a mechanism that the EU struggles to reach an agreement on.

The Mediterranean remains a perilous route for a swelling number of migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Europe, Security Council members said today, as they discussed the situation in the high seas off Libya ahead of a decision to renew resolution 2240 (2015), which authorizes States and regional groups to inspect and seize vessels in that area suspected of being used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking.

Menikdiwela said that while nearly 50,000 refugees and asylum seekers are registered with the refugee agency in Libya, it is not authorized to access the disembarkation points.  As such, many detained refugees are escorted to border areas and expelled to neighbouring countries, mainly Egypt, without procedural safeguards.  “Libya is not a place of safety for the purposes of disembarkation, following rescue at sea,” she stressed, underscoring that any cooperation or assistance provided to Tripoli should uphold the human rights of refugees and migrants.

To underscore the urgency of the situation, Menikdiwela presented figures that demonstrate how the phenomenon of migration flows is affecting Italy more than any other European country: “From January to September 24, 2023, approximately 186,000 people have arrived by sea in Southern Europe (Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, and Malta), with the majority, over 130,000, arriving in Italy (+83% compared to the same period in 2022). From the beginning of the year to September 24, more than 2,500 migrants have died or gone missing while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. This number represents a two-thirds increase compared to the 1,680 people in the same period in 2022.” (@OnuItalia)


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

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