Leaders of the countries of departure and those of arrival, but also representatives of the monarchies of the Gulf as well as the African Union, European leaders and international financial institutions. Today in Rome the ‘International Conference on Development and Migration’, the event organized by the Italian government in the Farnesina building which aims to “launch an international path to implement concrete measures for the growth and development of the enlarged Mediterranean and Africa”. Essentially, the first step towards processing that Mattei plan which Italy will illustrate in November on the occasion of the Italy-Africa Conference, diplomatic sources explained.
Before starting work, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni met with the Tunisian president, Kaïs Saïed. This was learned from sources in Palazzo Chigi. Meloni illustrated the objectives of the Conference to the Tunisian president, President Saïed expressed his appreciation. “This is the beginning of a journey”, explained the premier. “Tunisia and Italy have a common future,” Saïed replied. At the moment a meeting is underway between Meloni and the other leaders present at the Conference.
And interviewed today by the Press, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, explained objectives and method. The African question, you observed, must be tackled through a broad investment strategy, with concrete commitments and “the eye of a friend and not of a colonizer”. We don’t want to be predators of Africa, nobody has to die in the desert nor can we limit ourselves to police operations. The Mattei plan is an important element, but we need a financing plan that extends to the EU, the Gulf countries, and perhaps Turkey and the USA. “Otherwise you don’t go far,” she explains.
In the meantime, the fort arrived on the day of the Conference call of the pope on the drama that continues to unfold for migrants in the northern part of Africa. “Thousands of them, amid unspeakable suffering, have been trapped and abandoned in desert areas for weeks”, Francis said in the Angelus. In his appeal, Francis addressed in particular the European and African heads of state and government to provide them with urgent aid and assistance. “May the Mediterranean never again be a theater of death and inhumanity – added the pope -. May the Lord enlighten the minds and hearts of all, arousing feelings of fraternity, solidarity and acceptance”.
Helping African countries so that they can grow autonomously thanks to the sharing of Europe’s skills (and money)., with the aim of slowing down the arrivals of migrants on the Italian coasts which since the beginning of 2023 are already 83,400 compared to 34,000 in the same period of 2022. To make progress, however, we need “a cohesive, determined action capable of looking ahead”, explain the government, because only in this way “will it be possible to defeat the criminal activity of human traffickers, supporting and promoting legal migration in a regulated context”. In short, allies are needed, which Rome has tried to find both in Europe and elsewhere thanks to a strong diplomatic operation that seems to have been successful according to the confirmed presences.
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel will be at the Farnesina to represent Europebut the format also includes i leaders of almost all the states on the southern shores of the enlarged Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf, partners of the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, as well as the European Union states of first arrival, therefore the most affected by the migratory phenomenon: Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Spain, as well as obviously Italy.
In total, the flags of 21 countries will appear, including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Among those present were the heads of global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and Arab development funds, as well as the World Bank, delegates from FAO, the World Food Program and the International Organization for Migration. On the other hand, the conference is being held on the eve of the ‘UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment’, the summit on world food security which opens on Monday again in Rome in the presence of UN Secretary General Guterres and Prime Minister Meloni.
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