Message of good wishes for Christmas and New Year by Hon. Ian Borġ, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade for Maltese living abroad (2022-2023)

Message of good wishes for Christmas and New Year by Hon. Ian Borġ, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade for Maltese living abroad (2022-2023)

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Dec 23, 2022
 
 Minister Ian Borg 

Dear all,

This is my first message to you as Minister responsible for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade.

We have got to the end of another year, a year full of difficult challenges, both for us, the Maltese, as well as for all of humanity around the globe.  The challenges were various, especially those which resulted from what is going on around us. However, our country, just like others, had to face other challenges such as the recovery from the pandemic and challenges to reinforce our country’s institutions so that they reflect the times we are living in.  We have done this, and will go on doing it, because it is a process by means of which our country can move forward.

The year ahead is an important one for Malta, due to the fact that we will take part in the United Nations Security Council.  Malta will show the maturity it acquired along the time, from Independence to Freedom Day until we joined the EU.  Now is the time to show how our country can contribute further for the common benefit of mankind, such as with regard to the struggle against climate change, as well as the enhancement of stability and dialogue between the peoples.

I cannot but comment on what is going on at our doorstep in Ukraine.  We have never understood and cherished peace as much as today.  We had never envisaged that we would have another war in the European continent, that would lead to such serious consequences both in Europe and internationally. 

We must harbor peace, by respecting and supporting each other, both among us, the Maltese, as well as among nations.  It is therefore, important, that you and us, Maltese and Gozitans living all over the world will keep on working for peace.  It is inconceivable that at this day and age, with so much  cultural, social or technological development, some choose war over peace.

Our country, thus, will go on assisting the Ukrainian people in a humanitarian way with the resources at our disposal.  Nobody should be afraid to live in his own home, and likewise, the Ukrainian people should be able to live in peace in their own homeland.

We have an important role in all that happens around us.  We are all for peace, and we must carry on with this pursuit for peace, so that inspite of our resources, we contribute further on an international level in favour of social justice, progress, equality and peace.

It is particularly for this reason that Malta’s role in the UN Security Council as from next year will be a determining one.  Our commitment in this sense remains clear and based on the principles of peace and dialogue.

Dear all,  I cannot but also mention that as from this legislature, trade forms part of this Ministry. And that’s why, I would like to bring to the fore the incessant toil to push our trade forward, to wander further away and make of it another link of which our country should feel honoured and out of which we are bound to get more positive results for our country and our businesses, that are close to our heart.

We have worked incessantly in the interest of the Maltese living abroad, so much so, that, this year focused on a number of high-quality projects amongst which the launching of the Persons of Value Form. This is aimed at compiling a registry for the Ministry, of Maltese living abroad, that, with their talents and experience can contribute productively towards our country.  It is also worth mentioning, the setting up of Regional Councils which aim to reach out to more Maltese abroad at grass-root level, as well as the new equipment launched for the Consul-on-the-Move that should help so that such service is rendered in a more efficient way.

In September, we held the first Virtual Youth Forum for young Maltese living abroad, where subjects related to the Maltese language, culture and identity, chosen by the participants themselves were discussed.  In October, I also had the honour to host the 14th Annual Meeting of the Council for Maltese Living Abroad – the first physical meeting after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.  This was my first opportunity as Minister for Foreign Affairs, to meet this Council that has the role of safeguarding and promoting the rights and interests of Maltese living abroad.

This year was also a hectic year when it comes to diplomatic work, where, while we continued to strengthen our diplomatic and consular presence in other strategically important countries in South America, Africa and the Middle East, we also worked on a strategy that brings us closer to countries with big potential with regard to political, commercial and cultural cooperation, while still being faithful to our goals agreed upon at European and international level to address climate change in an effective way.

Malta believes in the principles of peace, social justice and equality. So, we need to keep on working so that such principles which we believe in, remain the framework of our work so as to have a better world for us as well as for the generations that follow.  This is the time when Malta has to push on to contribute for the benefit of the whole of humanity. 

I conclude by taking the opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a New Year full of health, peace and prosperity.