The President of Malta welcomed the heads of the diplomatic missions accredited to Malta for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings at The Palace, Valletta.
Referring to the recent crisis that has been endured by the 49 individuals and families including six children on board the two NGO vessels, the President acknowledged Malta’s intervention despite being the smallest member state of the EU and thanked the European Commission for its endeavours to bring together the eight member states that agreed to help in the reallocation of the distressed people.
“How can we, as European nations of goodwill, have allowed the mental, physical, and emotional distress of innocent individuals, to take place, over such a long period of time?”, President Coleiro Preca questioned, reminding that these vulnerable children, women, and men are fleeing from various difficult situations: some from war; some from extreme poverty; some from persecution and abuse, and others from the effects of environmental degradation.
The President urged the ambassadors and high commissioners to emphasise that human dignity, especially the dignity of the most vulnerable, should be the cornerstone of all of our endeavours and said that the phenomenon of migration should be faced together by sharing responsibilities among European member states, in a dignified manner which also respects fundamental human rights and not in an ad hoc manner.
President Coleiro Preca called upon all European member states, “to live up to the ideals of solidarity and goodwill upon which our Union was established decades ago,” and called upon all of our countries “to make our commitment towards universal human rights, a reality.”
“When we speak of the importance of global peace we also need to ensure that we address inequalities and injustices, by implementing a global social solidarity approach,” the President added.
“Diplomacy is truly essential”
The President stated that the endeavours of ambassadors and high commissioners must be focused on the need that the world has to nurture equality and solidarity, adding that “our world needs sustainable friendships and long-lasting alliances, to pursue peace and prosperity for all.”
On the upcoming European parliamentary elections, the President stated that these will create an opportunity for Europeans to show what kind of institutions we aspire to have, reiterating what she had mentioned in the Republic Day speech when she said that in today’s world we are witnessing the results of what happens when governments abandon the social contract in favour of excessive profits.
“Social Europe is becoming more of an economic Europe. Data tells us that 1 in 4 Europeans is living in poverty, and is thereby excluded from the social identity that used to make Europe so proud,” she said, adding that there is so much for us to do within Europe and further afield to build societies in which each and every individual is fully respected in their dignity and enjoys equitable access to opportunities to nurture their economic and social well-being.