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Speech of the Permanent Representative of Italy to the 73rd session of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

The Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Gian Lorenzo Cornado, delivered his statement to the 73rd session of the Executive Committee of UNHCR, in the presence of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Filippo Grandi.

Ambassador Cornado pointed out that ”after two years and a half since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, the number of humanitarian crises has further increased, also due to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine, which has brought war and forced displacement to the heart of Europe.” He recalled how wars, food insecurity, protracted displacement situations, conflict, socioeconomic effects of pandemic, violence, extreme weather events and natural hazards continue to cause the steady increase of displaced people around the world. He also reiterated Italy’s concern about the impact that protracted and complex humanitarian crises might have on persons in vulnerable situations, particularly refugees, internally displaced persons, asylum seekers, stateless persons and those entitled to international protection.

Ambassador Cornado emphasized how ”despite the exceptional circumstances we live in, Italy has responded to humanitarian needs with unprecedented means, providing to UNHCR in 2021 almost 70 million euros, and allocating almost the same amount of funding in the first months of 2022.” He also highlighted that Italy attaches great importance to the Agency’s humanitarian response in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, the Western and Central Mediterranean, Ethiopia, and the Horn of Africa.

In addition, Ambassador Cornado confirmed Italy’s willingness to continue implementing the pledges made during the first Global Refugees Forum, through increasing resettlement programs, and continuing to offer humanitarian corridors for vulnerable refugees. Finally, he highlighted Italy’s commitment to support the so-called ”complementary pathways” through the ”University Corridors for Refugees Project”, that provides refugee university students from over 30 hosting countries the chance to complete their education in Italy.

Read the full statement here