Pope Francis’s top advisor will attend the intergovernmental conference in Morocco for the adoption of a UN migration compact.
Rabat – Italian Cardinal and Pope Francis’s top advisor Pietro Parolin confirmed his attendance to the migration conference in Marrakech taking place on December 10-11, reported the Catholic news outlet Crux.
“There will be a Holy See delegation that I myself will lead,” Parolin said on December 4 during an interview with the press.
State leaders and representatives will gather at the UN Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
The UN general assembly appointed as host Morocco on December 2017, after adopting unanimously the 71/1 resolution dubbed the “ New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants,” in September 2016.
“The Holy See has collaborated, especially thanks to the section on migrants and refugees of the dicastery for Integral human development, in a significant way to the creation of this document,” Parolin affirmed.
“It seems to us that it’s a good reference point to at least begin to address in a collective way the topic of migration.”
The migration pact aims to address humanitarian and human right concerns, and developmental aspects of international migration.
It also seeks to protect the dignity of all migrants, regardless of their status, and promises to ease the pressure on countries that welcome refugees.
Despite being invited to attend the conference, Pope Francis declined at the last minute but will travel to Morocco in March 2019 for a papal visit.
Italy skipping the conference
Although Italy is highly concerned with migration issue and considered as a destination for migrants, it will skip the major event. The approval of the global migration compact is not legally binding for countries.
By July 30, more than 23,990 migrants entered Europe through the western Mediterranean route from Morocco route in 2018, in addition to 18,298 arriving in Italy alone.
More than 600,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Italy by boat from Africa in the past five years, Al Jazeera reported.
“I don’t judge anyone,” Parolin commented on the Italian government’s decision to not attend the migration conference. “I can only express my disappointment, in the sense that this can be a useful tool.”
Parolin, who is also the Vatican’s Secretary of State, hoped that the Italian decision “does not undermine the effort to face this topic, which I repeat must be addressed in a collective and global way.”
Parolin answered press questions on the margins of a conference in Rome titled “Eternity, the other face of life.”
In addition to the intergovernmental conference, Morocco currently hosts the 11th summit of the World Forum on Migration, which is held on December 5-7 in Marrakech.