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Pope Francis: to Diplomatic Corps, “recent” migration crisis calls for “common, concerted response”

(Foto Siciliani-Gennari/SIR)

“Among the vulnerable of our time that the international community is called to defend are not only refugees but also migrants”. That is the focus of the central part of the Pope’s sixth address to the Diplomatic Corps, in which the Pontiff – as in his previous speeches – calls on “governments to provide assistance to all those forced to emigrate on account of the scourge of poverty and various forms of violence and persecution, as well as natural catastrophes and climatic disturbances, and to facilitate measures aimed at permitting their social integration in the receiving countries”. Efforts “need to be made to prevent individuals from being constrained to abandon their families and countries, and to allow them to return safely and with full respect for their dignity and human rights”, Pope Francis continued. “All human beings long for a better and more prosperous life – the Pontiff pointed out -, and the challenge of migration cannot be met with a mindset of violence and indifference, nor by offering merely partial solutions”. “Consequently, I cannot fail to express my appreciation for the efforts of all those governments and institutions that, moved by a generous sense of solidarity and Christian charity, cooperate in a spirit of fraternity for the benefit of migrants”, the Pope said, mentioning Colombia which, “together with other countries of the continent, has welcomed in recent months a vast influx of people coming from Venezuela”. “At the same time, I realize that the waves of migration in recent years have caused diffidence and concern among people in many countries, particularly in Europe and North America, and this has led various governments to severely restrict the number of new entries, even of those in transit”, the Pontiff remarked. “Nonetheless, I do not believe that partial solutions can exist for so universal an issue”, he added, explaining that “recent events” have shown the “need for a common, concerted response by all countries, without exception and with respect for every legitimate aspiration, whether of states or of migrants and refugees themselves”.

In this regard, the Holy See has actively participated in the negotiations and supported the adoption of the two Global Compacts on Refugees and on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which the Pope called “an important step forward for the international community, which now, in the context of the United Nations, is for the first time dealing on a multilateral level with this theme in a document of such importance”. “Despite the fact that they are not legally binding, and that some governments were absent from the recent United Nations Conference in Marrakesh – Pope Francis pointed out -, these two Compacts will serve as important points of reference for political commitment and concrete action on the part of international organizations, legislators and politicians, as well as all those working for a more responsible, coordinated and safe management of situations involving refugees and migrants of various kinds”. The Holy See has praised both Compacts for “their intention and their character, which facilitates their implementation; at the same time, it has expressed reservations regarding the documents appealed to by the Compact on migration that contain terminology and guidelines inconsistent with its own principles on life and on the rights of persons”.

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