Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said Tuesday that he was upset by the "inappropriate" statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, who earlier criticized the Italian authorities for their tough stance on migration
ROME (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 11th September, 2018) Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said Tuesday that he was upset by the "inappropriate" statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, who earlier criticized the Italian authorities for their tough stance on migration.
Bachelet, who had recently assumed the post of UN commissioner, slammed the Italian government over its refusal to accept vessels of non-governmental organizations with migrants on board in the country's ports. She stated that such a position had devastating consequences for many people who were already in a vulnerable situation � although the number of migrants that crossed the Mediterranean had decreased, the death rate of those who trekked this dangerous path had increased in the first six months 2018. Bachelet said Monday that her office intended to send staff to Italy to verify information about the dramatically higher rates of violence and racism against migrants, people of African descent and the Romani people.
"The UN initiative is unpleasant. It is not clear how one can start with such severe criticism, having assumed the post just recently. I think that the definitions applied to Italy are inappropriate," he said on air of the Radio Capital broadcaster.
According to the minister, Bachelet's position is troubling and may provoke certain political reactions.
Earlier on Tuesday, Italian Foreign Ministry called Bachelet's statement unfounded and unfair, recalling the country's contribution to the operation to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean.
In turn, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini called the United Nation a biased and poorly informed organization in response to Bachelet's words. He stressed that Italy "is not going to take lessons from anyone, and even more so from the United Nations," and suggested that the country could reduce its contributions to the UN budget.
Europe has been experiencing a migration crisis since 2015, with migrants and refugees fleeing wars and crises in their home countries in North Africa and the middle East. As such, the new government of Italy has declared the struggle against illegal migration one of its priority tasks. In early August, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that in just two months since his cabinet began working, the number of migrants landing on Italy's shores had fallen by 80-85 percent.