Minister Abela inaugurates the Malta Forum on Youth, Education and Mobility: Investing in a Mediterranean Generation

Minister Abela inaugurates the Malta Forum on Youth, Education and Mobility: Investing in a Mediterranean Generation

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Apr 26, 2019

The Malta Forum on Youth, Education and Mobility entitled “Investing in a Mediterranean Generation”, was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, in the run up to the Sommet des Deux Rives: Forum de la Méditerranée, a French-led initiative proposed by President Emmanuel Macron, which aims to put civil society from the two shores of the Mediterranean at the forefront of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.

This forum also served as a follow-up to the breakfast meeting that was held in the margins of the 15th Ministerial Meeting of the 5+5 Western Mediterranean Dialogue in Malta on 17-18 January 2019 where the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Western Mediterranean had an informal exchange with a number of young leaders who were concurrently participating in the Young Mediterranean Voices New Leadership Seminar (organised by the Anna Lindh Foundation) and who also participated in this forum.

In his opening speech, Minister Carmelo Abela, reiterated the importance of civil society and a youth-led process, noting that: “Youth-led initiatives, with a focus on education and mobility, are crucial and imperative for the future of the Mediterranean. It is only through this bottom-up youth and civil society-led approach that we can look ahead and sustainably tackle the challenges facing our region.”

Minister Carmelo Abela stated that the Summit of the Two Shores is a step in the right direction and can create an impetus for a more inclusive and representative approach towards Mediterranean cooperation and that, undoubtedly, we need to invest in the Mediterranean generation.

“The youth of the Mediterranean are expressing their impatience about become active players in their societies. They are bearing the brunt of the crises and challenges we are all facing. This makes them feel increasingly excluded and feel that not enough opportunities are being created for them. Our commitment to engage with youth in this forum for change should be reinforced to speak to youth not about youth.”

Minister Abela also referred to youth as “the decision makers.” On this note, the participants proceeded to take part in a plenary with live connections across the 5+5 countries in association with the “Young Mediterranean Voices” network to discuss insights into intercultural trends as well as seminal research work. Participants then took part in networking/co-design sessions, of their choice, with the themes focusing on the exploration of a nexus between education, mobility and employability, the widening of access to mobility programmes, the development of cultural intelligent schools, the architecture of smart cities and access to as well as the role of youth-led media.

The thought provoking and intense discussions between civil society representatives and youths, in particular during these sessions, resulted in a number of initiatives/projects being proposed in the run-up to the Sommet de deux Rives, that is set to take place in Marseilles on 24 June 2019.

The Malta Forum, inaugurated by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela, was organised in collaboration with several institutions and organisations. It brought together over 160 practitioners from the host country and the member states associated to the summit including young leaders, educators, civil society practitioners, and intercultural experts.