The Order of Malta participates in the 10th Festival of Mediterranean Journalists
The challenges and opportunities of the Mediterranean area at the center of the debates
The challenges facing the Mediterranean regions, such as migration flows and political instabilities, but also the great opportunities for cultural exchanges and interreligious dialogue. These are some of the themes that animated the six days of the 10th Festival of Journalists of the Mediterranean, which was held in Puglia from 10 to 16 September. Framing the many meetings, debates and book presentations – attended by ambassadors, representatives of institutions and many Italian and international press – the town of Otranto with its splendid Aragonese Castle, its striking views of the Adriatic and its squares and alleys set up with stages and Berber tents offered by the Kingdom of Morocco, to host the many events.
An opportunity to create a dialogue between the African coasts and the European coasts united by a single great sea where rich traditions and cultures converge, but that has also dramatically become the last frontier for many migrants who leave their land in search of a better life. The Sovereign Order of Malta participated in the event to bring its experience in medical assistance to migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean, an activity that started exactly ten years ago.
“Migration requires an integrated and comprehensive approach”, underlined the Ambassador of the Order of Malta to the United Nations in Rome, Gabriele Checchia, speaking at a panel together with the Ambassadors of Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan in Italy, the vice president of the Chamber of Deputies, the mayor of Otranto and many other authorities.
“In the face of mass migration, new legal instruments must be thought out and fine-tuned” Checchia explained underlining the Order of Malta’s commitment to the United Nations in the drafting of the Global Compacts for migration and in the fight against human trafficking through two ad hoc ambassadors.
The Ambassadors Daniele Verga, Diplomatic Councilor, and Maria Emerica Cortese, Ambassador to El Salvador, illustrated the commitment of the associations of the Order of Malta and its international relief agency, Malteser International, in assisting refugees and displaced persons, both in regions bordering Syria and in central and South America where the number of unaccompanied migrant children has reached dramatic figures, with an increase in flows of 300% only in the last year.