President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca delivered a keynote address during a preview event of the Maanch Platform in London – a space that is being created for a number of diverse stakeholders to come together on an innovative platform for sustainable development.
President Coleiro Preca said that she was confident, “that the initiative being taken to develop the Maanch platform has much potential to build effective collaborations among diverse stakeholders”, adding that synergies amongst civil society organisations, philanthropists, and the business communities, are truly essential in today’s world, where sustainability must be the way forward for the future of all humanity.
The President shared some practical examples, through her first-hand experience, of how the business community, working in synergy with non-governmental organisations, is successfully making a real impact to help in meeting the objectives of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals – goals which have been a major focus with her work throughout the Presidency.
“I believe that working to implement the SDGs is crucial if we want to live in a world which prioritises the values of social and environmental justice, equality, and equity”
President Coleiro Preca affirmed that collaboration between civil society organisations, philanthropists and the business community, is essential to make these values a reality.
“From my experience, I can assure you that synergies between civil society and the business community do work to give positive results by means of sustainable investment, to address precarity, and vulnerability”, said the President. She went on to mention the inception of The President’s Trust in 2015, which is a private organisation whereby businesses and civil society work in tandem towards building social projects to empower vulnerable young people.
President Coleiro Preca explained that within three years, the President’s Trust has managed to develop 10 social projects that address the needs of hundreds of young people with an investment from the private sector of hundreds of thousands of euros.
These social projects, which are operated by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and monitored, assessed, and measured by The President’s Trust, are addressing various social concerns, related to a number of communities of young people living in precarity due to certain circumstances, or coming from vulnerable background.
The President said that through these 10 projects—designed for teenage mothers, young people coming from vulnerable backgrounds who are seeking employment, visually-impaired children and young people, and schoolchildren living in depressed areas, amongst others—The President’s Trust is contributing towards most of the SDGs, which are namely: SDG 1 (poverty); SDG 3 (health and wellbeing); SDG 4 (quality education); SDG 5 (gender equality); SDG 8 (decent work); SDG 10 (reduced inequalities); SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities); and SDG 17 (strengthening global partnerships for the goals).
President Coleiro Preca also mentioned the setting up of the CORE Platform as another example. The mission of the CORE Platform is, “to promote, to debate, to raise awareness about, and to disseminate the concepts of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Social Responsibility”. It aims to be a platform of exchange and mutual learning among members, its associates, civil society, and other partners at national and international levels.
The President also spoke about the importance of utilising new innovations such as blockchain technology to improve the socio-economic conditions of individuals and families who are facing precarity and vulnerability. She stated that the fusion between digital technologies and civil society organisations, guided by the overarching mandate of the SDGs, is a powerful step into the future, for the benefit of all of humanity.
Taking once again another example from her experience, the President said that exploring the potential of blockchain technologies and how they can work in synergy with civil society organisations, was the rationale behind the recent Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between The President’s Trust in Malta and Binance’s Blockchain Charity Foundation. She said that the relationship between the two is setting new standards in ways in which NGOs can benefit from advances in Distributed Ledger Technology.
The President explained that blockchain provides opportunities for radical transparency of all the donations made to civil society organisations. It also makes it much easier to channel the much-needed financial aid and to ensure that it is reaching the intended recipients.
On concluding, President Coleiro Preca appealed for young people to be the necessary catalysts for us to achieve the mandate of the SDGs in sync with developments in global technologies. The President said that the SDGs are not only a guide for governments and policy-makers, but they also speak directly and powerfully to young people.
For this reason, the President urged everyone to continue to focus on outreach and empowerment for young people throughout the work to be done by the Maanch platform.