Inauguration of the "Walk of Peace"
On 3 October 2013, some 368 migrants lost their lives after a boat carrying them to Europe capsized off the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy. Since then, it is estimated that more than 15,000 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean during their migratory journeys. Every 3 October, survivors and their families, together with civil society organisations and national and European authorities, gather on the island to honour those lost and call for a renewed framework to protect all.
In remembrance of the lives lost in these Mediterranean shipwrecks, Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG, and Med Aydi Wajdi, Deputy Mayor of Sfax and Policy Advisor to the Political Council on the Right to the City and Inclusive Territories, joined the families of the victims and students from across Europe in Lampedusa on 3 October to call for memory and dignity as a basis for transforming the rules and making migration work for all. On 3 October 2021, the commemoration saw the inauguration of the "Walk of Peace" by Totò Martello, Mayor of Lampedusa, and Emilia Saiz.
This path, leading to the Capo Grecale lighthouse and other artistic and social sites, marks a symbolic turning point towards a joint municipalist effort to promote human rights-based approaches to human mobility as part of the Lampedusa Charter Process. This year 2021, all stakeholders advocating for 3 October to be the European Day of Remembrance and Reception joined forces around the "We are in the same boat" campaign. Throughout 3 days of activities organised by the Comitato 3 Ottobre with numerous local partners in collaboration with the municipality of Lampedusa and Linosa, pupils from different schools in Europe were able to get closer to the experience of those who arrived in Lampedusa on their journey towards a better future. This cycle of activities was actively supported and promoted by the Snapshots from the Border project, led by 35 partners, local border authorities and civil society organisations.
The inauguration of the Peace Road by Mayor Martello and the UCLG Secretary General marked a momentous occasion, not only in remembering the lost lives of migrants, but also for imagining a better future with dignity for all and peaceful coexistence, spearheaded by community-based approaches to human mobility and diversity. These objectives are also at the core of the UCLG Lampedusa Charter process, which builds on Mayor Salvatore Martello's call to UCLG members to collectively address the territorial challenges of migration and displacement.
The Lampedusa Charter process, which already has the wholehearted support of some of UCLG's statutory bodies, sections and partners, and which aims primarily to save the lives of migrants, embodies our constituency's vision of promoting dignified human mobility as an absolute human right for all. The Snapshots from the Border project, led by 35 partners, local border authorities and civil society organizations, advocates for a critical understanding of the global interdependencies between migration flows to European borders and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), repositioning the development discourse and promoting effective policy coherence at all levels. Following the path of cooperation with Snapshots, UCLG is exploring ways to strengthen cooperation and support to local governments and stakeholders in the development of its new vision on global citizenship and human rights-based approaches to migration governance.