Etichettato: migrants

EUNAVFOR Med graduated the first 89 cadets of Libya’s Coast Guard and Navy

More than 13,000 migrants have been rescued from the sea in the course of the operation Sophia

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

LA VALLETTA, FEBRUARY 8 – The first training course of 89 Libyan cadets of the Coast Guard and Navy of the Northern African country came to an end today. Italian Navy cruiser “San Giorgio” hosted the graduation ceremony attended by European High Representative for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini, Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, and the Head of EUNAVFOR Med Mission Admiral Enrico Credentino.


“Migration is an epochal emergency. There is no immediate solution but we are try to manage this phenomenon as best as we can, in adherence to your values, our law and our identity”, Minister Pinotti told the new graduates. The Italian government representative stressed that in January new boats full of migrants left Libya in spite of dangerously bad weather. “The Libyan Coast Guard saved over 1200 people, an encouraging sign”, Pinotti said, praising the Libyan sailors for their commitment,  courage,  competence and, last but not least, humanity.

“Migration can only be managed effectively through cooperation and partnership”, said Federica Mogherini during the ongoing Valletta Summit. Operation Sophia is a clear example of Europe’s common efforts in this field.

EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia is providing training to the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy. Among others, the goal of the mission is to strengthen Libyan officials’ capacities to save lives, to protect people and to make Libyan territorial waters more secure. The training comprised various components from basic seamanship to more advanced specialist skills, including a substantial focus on human rights and international law.

Italy strongly supports the operations of the European Union Naval Force, hosting the headquarters in Rome and taking an active role in the mission. Recently Italian Guardia di Finanza signed a technical agreement on the Libyan cadets training, contributing to enhancing their skills throughout 8 sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening, for four days.

In 2016 the UN Security Council authorised inspections of suspected embargo-breaking vessels off Libya’s coast, unanimously adopting resolution 2292. The resolution, in an effort to implement the arms embargo imposed on Libya, “authorizes Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations, to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya believed to be in violation of the embargo”. Operation Sophia’s mandate was reinforced  by the Council of the European Union in July 2016 adding two supporting tasks: the training of the Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Libyan Navy, and the contribution to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya.

More than 13,000 migrants have been rescued from the sea in the course of the operation Sophia.

This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations

Humanitarian Corridors: 40 refugees from Syria arrive safely in Italy

Mario Giro: “Walls and bans of people from specific countries will end up creating  a lack of security in the United States”

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

ROME, JANUARY 31 – While in the United States and abroad airports were thrown into chaos by president Donald Trump executive order on immigration, Rome’s Fiumicino has become an international welcoming hub for refugees: another group of 40 Syrians – the first for this year – landed yesterday in the Italian capital’s hub, hoping to start a new life.


Children playing table football in Rome, Italy

The Syrian children were given balloons as they arrived, and a colorful sign reading “Welcome to Italy” greeted the latest group of refugees to be resettled in the country via an agreement between the government and a Catholic-Protestant collaboration. Italy’s deputy foreign minister, Mario Giro, greeted the Syrians and insisted on the obligation to welcome those fleeing war.

The Humanitarian Corridors is Italy’s answer to the migrant crisis through which people coming from war zones are welcomed in a safe and controlled way. Syrians and Iraqis displaced in Lebanon and soon refugees from sub-Saharan countries, Eritreans, Somalis and Sudanese in Ethiopia have now a chance to reach the European continent without having to pay thousands of dollars to smugglers, then putting their lives at risk in the Mediterranean. This is an example of how States can fight human trafficking.

The project is backed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Interior, Community of Sant’Egidio, Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy, and Tavola Valdese. With this last arrival the number of refugees involved in the project counts 540. The 40 Syrians landed in Italy yesterday come from the cities of Aleppo, Homs and Damascus: among them many children, women and elderly people.

The Humanitarian Corridors are completely financed by the organizations that have promoted the pilot project: taxpayers are not economically involved in the costs. The funds come through the “eight per a thousand” tax provision of the Waldensian Church and other fundraising.


A group of Syrians arrived in Rome’s Fiumicino airport, Italy

“Walls and bans of people from specific countries will end up creating  a lack of security in the United States”, said Giro, himself a member of the Community of Sant’Egidio, commenting President Trump’s decision to stop the entry in the U.S. for the next 90 days for people coming from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. “Italy wants to solve the problems. We don’t want to increase hate, but instead create policies which work, such as the organized acceptance and distribution of refugees, coupled with economic accords with countries of origin”, added Giro, welcoming the refugees at Fiumicino.

Bernard Cazeneuve, French Prime Minister, has recently shown his will to adopt the Humanitarian Corridors model. Cazeneuve took part at the annual event of the Fédération protestante de France where François Clavairoly, FPF’s president, has announced that the protestant federation has reached an agreement with the French government and the Community of Sant’Egidio for welcoming refugees in the same pattern of the Humanitarian Corridors.

This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations

Alfano in Tunis: Italy with Tunisia, strengthening democratic institutions

This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

TUNIS, JANUARY 20 – The so-called Arab Spring has changed the political asset of the African-Mediterranean countries, where new governments and political parties are still trying to define the balance of power after years of clashes and tumults. Tunisia is a unique case of success, where a working political class and democratic institutions have already adopted a modern Constitution that shaped the future of the Northern African country.


Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano and the President of republic of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi

In this framework Italy plays an important role, reaffirmed by Angelino Alfano, Italian Foreign Minister in yesterday’s visit to Tunis. Alfano met with Beji Caid Essebsi, President of the Republic of Tunisia, the Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and his counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui. The officials had talks about economy, culture, fight against terrorism and migrations, key topics of the international agenda.

Minister Alfano recalled “the historic continuity and the commonalities of bilateral relations between the two countries” and said that Italy wants to boost the cooperation with Tunisia in every aspects. In May Italy is to host the G7 meeting in Taormina, Sicily, and Tunisia is invited to take part in the event. “Italy and Tunisia have in common history, geography, a mutual culture and above all a deep friendship”, said Angelino Alfano.

Italy strongly support Tunisia institutions: the President of the Republic Mattarella will meet Beji Caid Essebsi in February. “President (Mattarella) is happy to welcome you, our staffs are working together to organize the meeting for the best success and to reach concrete results”, affirmed Alfano talking with Essebsi. “Tunisian democracy is a precious treasure, a barrier against Islamic fanaticism”.

There are several important project on which Italy and Tunisia are working: youth training opportunities; economic development of the hinterland; the fight against terrorism; the energy interconnectivity. Alfano mentioned the support for young Tunisians by proposing the “Erasmus of the Mediterranean”, a proposal that has the goal to “unite the young generations through a new version of the consolidated and successful EU member states Socrates/Erasmus programme”, affirmed the Foreign Minister.

During a press conference, Minister Alfano and his colleague Jhinaoui agreed on a common management of Italy-Tunisia border. “We have the same enemy: human traffickers”, said Alfano. Italy rescues thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean: according to the IOM, the UN International Organization for Migrations, since the beginning of 2017 3,156 human beings arrived in Europe, 2,393 saved by Italian authorities. Last December Italian Coast Guard was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador “as recognition for its efforts in rescuing thousands of minor migrants and refugees”.

La storia di Ramazan


Migliaia di uomini e donne cercano, ogni anno, di entrare illegalmente negli Stati Uniti alla ricerca di un futuro migliore. Photo:

di Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

La persona più interessante che ho incontrato a New York, so far, si chiama Ramazan. Macedone, sulla cinquantina, Ramazan lavora per una impresa di pulizie. È arrivato negli Stati Uniti alla fine degli anni ’80 passando dal Messico e, dopo un mese di carcere, è riuscito a rimanere nel Paese, in un modo o nell’altro.

Siamo entrati subito in sintonia. Con lui ho parlato della fine della Guerra Fredda, della Conferenza di Bandung, dell’Apartheid in Sud Africa, che oggi continua sulla pelle dei palestinesi, del ruolo delle Nazioni Unite e di economia statunitense. E afferma: “La gente qui è avara. Vuole sempre più soldi. Guarda Donald Trump, nonostante molteplici fallimenti ha ricominciato da zero, sempre col solo obiettivo di fare soldi.”


Donald Trump, candidato presidente alle primarie del Partito Repubblicano. Photo:

Mi ha impressionato la sua conoscenza dei fatti storici, alcuni dei quali vissuti sulla propria pelle, e l’attenzione per l’istruzione dei figli, che andranno al college con i guadagni di una vita passata a lavorare.

Dato che aveva appena finito di lavare il bagno non volevo entrare e sporcarlo nuovamente. Vista la mia titubanza, Ramazan mi ha detto: “Entra pure e non ti preoccupare di sporcarlo: grazie a te io posso lavorare.”