France: meeting at Palazzo Farnese with President Macron

Anti-death penalty campaign, the elderly, peace in Africa and humanitarian corridors were among the topics addressed.

The French President Emmanuel Macron and a delegation of the Community of Sant'Egidio, including Andrea Riccardi, Marco Impagliazzo and Mario Giro, met yesterday evening at Palazzo Farnese. One of the topics discussed was the idea of collaboration - during French EU presidency - for a global event in favour of the abolition of the death penalty, a campaign to which Sant'Egidio has been committed for years. As regards Africa, special attention was given to the serious situation in northern Mozambique where the conflict, besides significant civilian casualties, has caused so far over 700,000 IDPs. The President was told about the Community's work in the province of Cabo Delgado, providing humanitarian aid to refugees and rebuilding the social fabric through inter-religious dialogue.

The humanitarian corridors promoted by Sant'Egidio in response to the Syrian, Libyan and Afghan crises, to which France has adhered, were another important topic addressed. The corridors have become a model of legal immigration policy, especially for people in need of humanitarian protection. President Macron assured that France will continue its commitment.

A final topic was the elderly in European society, an issue that has come to the fore in recent months because of the serious consequences of the pandemic on their health and living conditions.In this connection, the President and I agreed on the need for an urgent change of pace from institutionalisation -whose disastrous effects have resulted in the high number of victims recorded in facilities such as the RSA - to a system based on home care and assistance. A collaboration was decided on this crucial issue.