ROME, JUNE 20 – “Over 180,000 people landed on our coast last year and 50% of those who arrived this year applied for asylum. Italy has shown that it can be generous and respectful of civil values without giving preferences to national conveniences and egoism. I regret that not everyone, even in Europe, has shown the same availability as reception,” the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, said in a message sent to the UNHCR on World Refugee Day.
Gentiloni assured UNHCR that Italy “will continue on this path by not failing neither our commitment nor the persuasive efforts to address these principles with our European partners. Together with the High Commissioner for Refugees, we are committed to winning the challenge of protecting those who flee from the war, who are persecuted,” he adds: “It is a legal and moral duty that calls into question the consciousness of all of us” .
The world’s 65 million refugees deserve praise for their resilience and courage and those who receive them should be recognized for welcoming them into their communities, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on Tuesday.
In a statement marking World Refugee Day, Grandi said the uncertainties of today’s world could make people want to shut their eyes to the plight of those displaced by war, persecution and violence. However, he added that fear and exclusion would only lead to “barriers, alienation and despair”.
This week, UNHCR issued its annual Global Trends report which showed the number of people displaced worldwide had risen to 65.6 million by the end of 2016, its highest level ever. “On June 20, World Refugee Day, we honour the resilience and courage of more than 65 million people who have been forced to flee war, persecution and violence,” Grandi said.
“But it’s also a moment to recognise those communities and people around the world who receive refugees and the internally displaced in their midst, offering them a safe place, and welcoming them in their schools, their workplaces and their societies.” (@OnuItalia)