Gabriele Eminente, General Director of MSF Italy: "MSF welcomes any effort that seeks to strengthen Search and Rescue (SAR) capacity in the Central Mediterranean and save lives. However, it is crucial that we have the opportunity to raise concerns about several elements of the current Code and seek clarity on ambiguities. We therefore hope that the consultation process will receive meaningful engagement from the Minister of Interior and that the points we raise will be considered and addressed. It is vital that any proposed Code will be based on the clear imperative to save lives at sea. Since the beginning of our Search and Rescue activities in May 2015, MSF has rescued more than 69,000 men, women and children. Our rescue operations have always been conducted in respect of national and international laws and under coordination of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) in Rome. However, as the content and potential impact of this code is discussed, we must all remember that so far this year over 2,000 people have lost their lives in the Mediterranean sea, at least 13 this very afternoon."