United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday praised Italy for its efforts in hosting and rescuing thousands of refugees and migrants, and appealed for global solidarity in tackling migrant crisis. Ban made his remarks after meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Rome.
The outgoing UN secretary general held talks also with president of the Upper House Pietro Grasso, and of the Lower House Laura Boldrini. Such meetings focused on major international issues, including the war in Syria, the Libyan situation, and the migrant crisis, according to an official statement.
“I commend the generosity of the Italian people and government in hosting and rescuing so many human beings, who are risking their lives on the high seas in search of a better life,” Ban told reporters after talks. “Italy should not be left alone. We need global solidarity to face this unprecedented crisis,” he added.
The UN chief also praised the support Italy has been providing to the UN blue-helmet peace operations around the world, in terms of both troops and logistics. Ban is expected to be replaced by former head of the UN refugee agency UNHCR Antonio Guterres by Jan. 2017.
The Italian authorities acknowledged Ban’s achievements during his visit to the country, which was likely to be the last one as UN secretary-general. “In the last 10 years, under his guide, the UN have achieved historic results in areas key to international co-existence,” Mattarella told a press conference.
Mattarella mentioned the crucial fields of development and of governance of the climate change. “In particular, I am thinking about the adoption of the 2030 Agenda (for Sustainable Development), and the Paris agreement on climate change,” he said.
The Paris Agreement just entered into force this week, triggered by the ratification of the parliament of the European Union (EU). “Yet, the list of Ban’s achievements is longer than that,” Mattarella added. “I want to mention his crucial commitment on the migrants issue, as a global responsibility of the international community, on the gender equality, and on the fight against discrimination and violence,” he said.