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Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta


Populations fleeing from war: rescue, assistance, integration towards the World Humanitarian Summit

Rome, 11/11/2015 

The press conference organised by the Order of Malta: challenges and prospects of the migratory phenomenon

The conflict in Syria on the eve of its fifth year of war, the Libyan chaos and the arrival of winter that makes the conditions of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from all kinds of violence even more desperate; the Mediterranean crossings and the Balkan route. The humanitarian organizations and agencies are finding themselves facing enormous challenges in the attempt to meet the needs of entire populations in flight, on foot and on makeshift boats. All this was discussed this morning in a conference in the Rome Foreign Press HQ organized by the Sovereign Order of Malta and entitled:: “Populations fleeing from war: rescue, assistance, integration. Towards the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, 2016”.

“Building walls will not improve the situation, we’re talking about a phenomenon that is destined to last for many years” said the Order of Malta’s Grand Chancellor, Albrecht Boeselager, stressing that it is “precisely the lack of long-term political solutions that is aggravating the current crisis and ensuring that the number of refugees and displaced people will continually increase”. The Grand Chancellor recalled that in November alone over 218 thousand refugees reached Europe by sea; the same number arrived in all of 2014.

“We must be careful to use the correct terminology. No-one is illegal. Everyone has the right to ask for protection according to the conventions signed after World War II,” the Grand Chancellor said, pointing out the international summit on migration that is opening today on Malta and in which the Order of Malta is participating as observer.

Speaking at the conference, the Honourable Sandro Gozi, Undersecretary of State for European Affairs of Italy, said that is incorrect to use the word emergency: the migratory phenomenon is first of all a demographic and geopolitical challenge. “We’re talking about a transnational phenomenon and we have to encourage a common border policy that does not undermine the foundations of Europe,” said Gozi.

“Our efforts must be channelled towards a joint management of migratory flows, bearing in mind that in 2050 Europe will need a labour force with an additional 40 million people,” concluded Gozi. During the conference the results were presented of the “Religions Together for Humanitarian Action” symposium, organized by the Order of Malta last May in the United Nations building in Geneva. The symposium outlined the Order of Malta’s contribution to the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul from 23 to 25 May 2016. On that occasion the Order of Malta will present a charter of principles for humanitarian work and will organize the Global Religion Forum, a day of reflection dedicated to the contribution of faith-based organizations in rescue and assistance for war victims.

Other participants in today’s conference included the Order of Malta’s Grand Hospitaller Dominique de La Rochefaucauld- Montbel, director of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps Mauro Casinghini, Malteser International’s secretary general Ingo Radtke and Oliver McTernan, director of the British think-tank Forward Thinking, involved in conflict resolution.

populations fleeing from war rescue assistance integration towards the world humanitarian summit

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

Magistral Palace, Via Condotti, 68 Rome - Italy

Tel. +39.06.67581.1 | [email protected]