Rabbi Chaim Segal,
Jewish Community in Malta,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to have been once more invited to join the celebrations of Chanuka in Valletta and together with you share the universal values of love and unity we share as a global family. The lightening of the menorah is not only a symbol of light, empathy and wisdom, but is also a reminder of how special and important our individual traditions are to the future peaceful development of our common region.
I wish to praise all of you gathered here for your unwavering commitment of preserving Jewish traditions in Malta and to transmit from one generation to the next the noble principles and traditions of the Jewish faith. Furthermore, thanks to occasions such as this one, you are wholeheartedly contributing to facilitate inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue in Malta. Coupled together, inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue are important ingredients advancing tools for a more harmonious and peaceful existence.
The role of education, particularly the exchange of ideas, beliefs and world views rests at the center of our rich social and cultural spaces. By advancing an imagined peaceful future we have the power to break darkness and push for more fulfilling existence and social relations. In a world that continues to struggle with injustices, armed conflict, persecutions and a general disconnection between our actions and our impact on the environment, it is more important than ever to look at the wisdom of our ancestors and learn how to deflect violence and conflict with dialogue and peace. It is with grave concern that our region continues to experience different pockets of violence and extremism, with growing populist sentiments fanning on an already fragile geopolitical scenario.
As Malta gears up to occupy the non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council in the year 2023, I am pleased to observe that my country has given priority to portfolios addressing women and children in conflict areas, climate change, and the role of literacy in advancing a more just world. Together with other areas of focus, Malta is committed to act as a beacon promoting tolerance, multilateral dialogue and the resolution of disputes through non-violent means and in full respect of international human rights law.
Already from today, we, can start to fulfil this mission. By looking at the values which unite us we can work towards unity and peace.
In conclusion, I take the opportunity to thank the school children for their performance and wish to congratulate the newly wedded couple on this special day.
Today, you have all contributed to a meaningful expression which will continue to guide your families and communities in the years that come.
I thank you all for involving me in this celebration.
Happy Chanuka to all!