Pro-tempore Presidency of CELAC,
Excellencies and colleagues,
It is an honour to address you today. Our presence here is truly reflective of the broad engagement between our two regions, which have been linked throughout history by people-to-people contacts, common interests and, in many aspects, similar traditions.
As John Donne rightly wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.” As we discuss, debate, and seek to find solutions to issues that affect us all, never before had this quote attained so much relevance.
The globalisation phenomenon brings with it many positive forces for worldwide growth and sustainable development. As the world continues to evolve into one globalised platform, we are constantly reminded how poverty, climate change, security, the need for sustainable development and sustainable economies, and the prevention of conflict, among others, have morphed the world into a single interdependent community.
In this light, at a time when alliances of multiple countries pursuing a common goal are under increasing strain, it has become ever more important to reaffirm the fundamentals of multilateralism and the importance of a rules-based set of international relations in accordance with the UN Charter. Cooperation is, undoubtedly, a far better option than working on our own.
Malta is a firm believer in multilateralism, and considers it key for the international community to identify synergies between them, cooperate on common interests, and capitalise on each other’s comparative advantage. No matter what a country’s geographical size is, it is through our unity that change can truly be achieved. Countries, organisations, and people need inspiration to act; they also need hope in the possibility of change for the better, the ability to reach higher ideals. In joining forces, we can be drivers of change and inspiration.
As a platform representative of 60 countries, it is imperative that we harness cooperation in areas of common interest. We have a unique opportunity to strengthen our commitments – to reinforce, but also to defend the work and integrity of multilateral institutions. Cooperation within multilateral fora should be more prominent in our exchanges in order to seek synergies, create partnerships, and build bridges.
As a member of the international community, Malta fully supports the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, committed towards long-term sustainable development and growth which translates into the well-being of our citizens and of future generations. Improved international cooperation, peer learning, and exchange of information and best practice, are essential to address these challenges and achieve our goals. In this regard, I am pleased to announce that, on behalf of the Government of Malta, this Wednesday I will deliver our country’s first Voluntary National Review at the United Nations’ High Level Political Forum in New York – in so doing sharing Malta’s experiences as well as challenges.
International Cooperation is crucial. It is only together than we can address the emerging global challenges while strengthening our cooperation in support of multilateralism and our shared values and convictions.