Perspectives on Malta’s foreign policy were discussed during a symposium organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion themed ‘Pursuing Common Goals’. The symposium addressed the significance of multilateralism to leave a sustainable world for future generations.
In his opening address, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela stressed the importance of trade in the country’s foreign policy agenda and his firm belief that failure to maintain openness to trade, leads to instability. He emphasised how Malta over the past years has sought to strengthen its trade policy, transforming it into one of the bedrocks of the country’s foreign agenda. He noted how through close ties with local economic entities and other ministerial departments, the country has seen an increase in delegations and institutional Maltese business meetings in partner countries. “Malta has a lot to offer and is open for business and innovative ideas,” accentuated Minister Abela.
He noted that Malta is an open economy that has expanded successfully over the four corners of the world. He stated how Sub-Saharan Africa continues to gain prominence in Malta’s foreign policy together with importance given to Asia as Malta is working on the opening of a diplomatic presence in Japan with whom Malta has a trade surplus. South America is also gaining importance as efforts are underway for Malta to open its first diplomatic mission in South America.
Throughout his remarks, Minister Abela noted how Malta has grown from being the “nurse of the Mediterranean” to a country whose voice, outlook and vision for the future are a living example that size is just a concept with a positive attitude being the driving force forward. He remarked how security and stability in our region have always been issues of priority for Malta. “The need for peace, security and stability in our neighbourhood, the Mediterranean region, remains at the forefront of Malta’s agenda to this very day. A peaceful resolution to the crisis in Libya, for instance, looms large for the future prospect of security at our southern shores”, said Minister Abela. In this regard he underscored that as a country with aspirations to promote peace and security, equality, social solidarity, Malta is seeking election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024.
Malta’s Minister for Foreign Affairs made an emphasis on the importance of women as having a central role in the peace process. “No country can hope to achieve a just and comprehensible peace if half of its population is excluded. Women and girls are also active agendas for peace,” said Minister Abela. He added that sustainable peace can only be achieved through women’s economic and political empowerment as well as their involvement in decision making processes. He recalled how in April 2019 Malta announced its commitment to adopt its first National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security.
The symposium was also addressed by Executive Secretary, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation Mr Lassina Zarbo. Two panel discussions were held focusing on women, peace and security and Malta.