Welcoming the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett to the European Parliament, President Roberta Metsola said that the European Parliament will continue to lead the debate to find a way forward on migration.
With us today, we have Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency Cate Blanchett. Welcome to the European Parliament.
Cate Blanchett has been a dedicated activist on humanitarian issues for years. We know her for her activism as well as for her work in film.
We are delighted that you are able to be here with us today at a time when events around the world threaten more lives and force more people to flee. Almost 8 years ago, you stated that: “There has never been a more crucial time to stand with refugees and show solidarity.”
Sadly, that statement could well be repeated today. Just last month at the European Parliament we marked 10 years since the Lampedusa shipwreck that claimed more than 360 lives. That tragedy of 2013 was far from being an isolated catastrophe. The cemetery of the Mediterranean has claimed the lives of thousands more women, children and men since.
I am proud that this Institution has led the debate on a European level to find a way forward that tackles this challenge of our generation and I am hopeful that we will agree on a new Asylum and Migration Pact for Europe by the end of this legislature.
This Parliament’s commitment to these challenges remains unwavering. For all those who lost their lives, for all the exploited victims of traffickers, for all those families never to be reunited. We remember them.
And Ms Blanchett, we are grateful to you for using your voice to draw greater attention to the plight of so many people across the world.
The floor is yours.