One of the challenges which Malta faces is securing reliable and affordable energy supplies. Malta will actively support international initiatives that will promote political and economic stability in the main producer countries, improve the climate for energy sector investment, encourage more openness and transparency in international energy markets and ensure the efficient and sustainable use of energy resources.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to strengthen its diplomatic ties with supplier and producer countries of crude oil and derived products and assist, as necessary, other Government Ministries, entities or agencies in the effort to engage in discussions with key energy players and to explore the options related to sourcing of energy and energy supplies.
Malta believes that the world's natural environment must always be treated with respect. If handled responsibly, nature's resources can improve people's lives considerably. Malta will continue to uphold international initiatives that call for the sustainable development of the world's natural environment, also following on its 1988 initiative for a UN Resolution on the "Conservation of climate as part of the Common Heritage of Mankind". Malta is signatory to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as the Kyoto Protocol. Malta will be particularly active in international efforts to halt and address global warming which is a major concern particularly to low-lying islands and small states including many Commonwealth countries.
In 1968 Malta took the initiative to put the phenomenon of ageing on the United Nations agenda. Following the recommendations of the First World Assembly, Malta made a significant contribution towards the establishment in Malta of the International Institute on Ageing under the auspices of the United Nations. The Institute was inaugurated in April 1988. Through its continued financial support to the International Institute, Malta is demonstrating its commitment to a worldwide approach to meeting the challenges of ageing particularly in the field of training in development countries. In promoting the wellbeing of human kind, Malta will continue to emphasize the dignity and totality of the human person and the positive contribution that the aged can make to the rest of society.
Malta will continue to actively support the protection of the basic human rights of children in the world particularly as laid out in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child: the right to survival, to develop to the fullest, to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and the right to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. Malta will continue to support international actions and policies that respect the rights of the unborn child and foster the best interests of children. In this context, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will seek a proactive engagement in the activities of UNICEF and other international bodies and initiatives dedicated to the welfare of children.
Malta will continue to highlight the need for the international community to focus on the special characteristics and needs of Small States. Malta will support international actions and policies that will aim to strengthen the resilience of Small States, in particular small Island States.