From file: Pope Francis | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/GIUSEPPE LAMI
From file: Pope Francis | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/GIUSEPPE LAMI

Pope Francis on January 10 thanked Italy for welcoming migrants in an address to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.

Pope Francis in a "state of the world" address to the diplomatic corps on January 10 thanked Italian authorities for allowing a group of refugees "to come with me to Rome from Cyprus and Greece" following his visit last month.

"It was a simple but meaningful gesture", he said. "To the Italian people, who suffered a lot at the beginning of the pandemic but who also showed encouraging signs of recovery, I hope they will always maintain that spirit of open generosity, of open solidarity that characterizes them," the pontiff also noted.

Pope Francis calls for EU's 'internal cohesion'

The pontiff said it was "of fundamental importance for the European Union to find internal cohesion in the management of migration, the same it was able to find in dealing with the consequences of the pandemic."

In his address to the diplomatic corps, Pope Francis also called for a "coherent and comprehensive system for coordinating policies on migration and asylum, with a view to sharing responsibility for the reception of migrants, the review of requests for asylum, and the redistribution and integration of those who can be accepted."

According to the pontiff, "the ability to negotiate and find shared solutions is one of the strengths of the European Union and constitutes a valid model for a farsighted approach to the global challenges before us."

However, he continued, "migrants don't only concern Europe, even though it is particularly affected by flows coming from both Africa and Asia."

Over the past few years "we have witnesses, among other things, the exodus of Syrian refugees, who have been followed over the past few months by those who fled Afghanistan."

"We also must also not forget the massive migration movements on the American continent, which press upon the border between Mexico and the United States of America," the pontiff said.

"Many of those migrants are Haitians fleeing the tragedies that have struck their country in recent years years."

"The issue of migration, together with the pandemic and climate change, has clearly demonstrated that we cannot be saved alone and by ourselves: the great challenges of our time are global."

Value of multilateralism

The pontiff went on to express concern over the growth of a "wider fragmentation of solutions" despite "an increased interconnection of problems."

The pontiff denounced an unwillingness to "open windows of dialogue" and fraternity, something which sows tensions and divisions, creating a general sense of uncertainty and instability.

It is necessary instead to "recover a sense of our common identity as one human family", the pontiff concluded.

"The alternative is growing isolation", characterized by reciprocal closures that hinder multilateralism and a "diplomatic style that has characterized international relations since World War Two."


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