Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Holy See joins International Organization for Migration

UK Ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker,  comments on his blog:

Good news this week as the Holy See on 5 December joined the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Why is this important? The Holy See’s “Ambassador” (Permanent Observer) to the UN in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, summed it up well in an interview he gave to Vatican Radio: “as we are witnessing a continuous increase in the number of migrants and refugees in the world, it is important for us to be present and to participate in the efforts of the international community with the specific contribution of the Holy See: an ethical voice which gives a fresh interpretation to these new situations. [..] What must prevail is not so much politics, as the need to meet the human needs of these people, as they migrate through the various regions of the world”.

As I noted a couple of weeks ago, the growing menace of people trafficking, coupled with increasing migration flows especially towards the developed world, requires a bold, international response. The issue is a priority for the British Government, and increasingly so for the Holy See. We welcome Archbishop Tomasi’s statement that the Holy See will focus on “the defence of human beings and their dignity”. And we look forward to working with them here in Rome and in the IOM.