Statement by the Secretary General on the boat disaster and tragic deaths on the Mediterranean Sea
Brussels, 22 April, 2015/ ACP: The Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States Dr. Patrick I. Gomes expressed his profound sadness at the tragic loss of more than 700 lives – including many women and children – when a ship capsized in the Mediterranean Sea on 19 April 2015.
This brings the total number of those feared dead while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, to more than 1600 in this year alone.
On behalf of the ACP Group, the Secretary General extends his deepest condolences to the families and relatives affected.
“This is far from an isolated incident. The increasing frequency and the scale of these tragedies are unacceptable and demand a thorough response to stop the tragedies. This includes putting in place a comprehensive long-term solution to address the root causes – one that is compassionate and humane, taking into account the desperate situations that in many circumstances push people to risk their lives and those of their families on such perilous journeys,” said Dr. Gomes.
The Secretary General of the ACP Group recognises the magnitude of the challenges and commends the efforts of the Italian government to deal with migrant arrivals. He strongly calls on the European Union as well as the international community to work with the countries affected to find innovative programmes that fully respect international human rights conventions. In this regard, the ACP Group could play a major role through avenues such as the ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration and Development, in particular to address human trafficking issues.
For more information, please contact Press Officer Ms. Josephine Latu-Sanft, +32 2 7430617 or firstname.lastname@example.org .