“AND It is essential to assume the concept of European responsibility, because the effort cannot be placed only in countries on the borders”, said Guterres during a press conference in New York to present his priorities for the UN General Assembly’s High Level Week, which starts next week.
The secretary-general insisted that this is not a problem exclusive to the countries that receive these migratory flows, but rather the entire European continent, which is why he called for the creation of effective mechanisms to share this pressure.
Guterres’ statements come just hours after the island of Lampedusa, in Italy, reached a new historical record for the arrival of immigrants in a single day (between six thousand and seven thousand, according to different estimates).
The large number of arrivals ended up saturating the local infrastructure, where during Tuesday there was a traffic jam of boats waiting to disembark on the small Sicilian island.
The Lampedusa reception center (‘hotspot’), with capacity for 400 people, is completely overcrowded, with around 6 thousand migrants.
Guterres acknowledged that some of these migrants arrive for humanitarian reasons, so these people should be considered refugees, while others do so in the hope of improving their economic prospects.
The representative stressed that this distinction is important, highlighting, however, that in both cases “human rights” must be respected.
Although the numbers are constantly evolving, so far this year, 123,863 immigrants have disembarked in Italy, almost double the 65,517 in the same period in 2022 and triple the number in 2021 (41,286), according to updated data from the Ministry of the Interior.
In Spain, this year, 21,025 people entered, the majority (40%) in the summer months.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, today lamented the situation on the island of Lampedusa, arguing that such a scenario is a demonstration of “Europe’s failure”.
“What is happening in Lampedusa and today in Strasbourg is just Europe’s failure to reach an agreement with the socialists”, said the leader of the League (extreme right party), speaking at the Foreign Press Association in Rome.
And he added: “The landings (of immigrants) are the symbol of a non-existent, distant, distracted and complicit Europe, which abandons countries when it comes to facing problems.”
Italy, Greece, Spain or Malta are recognized as the “front line” countries in terms of arrivals of irregular migrants to Europe.
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