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Jum il-Vitorja - Diskors tat-8 ta’ Settembru 2023

Diskors li kellu jsir waqt iċ-ċerimonja ta' Jum il-Vitorja mill-Ambaxxatur ta' Malta għal Franza, is-Sur Carmelo Inguanez, nhar is-6 ta' Settembru. Iċ-ċerimonja ġiet ridotta minħabba l-maltemp.

Onorevoli Prim Ministru,

Onorevoli Sur Speaker,

Eċċellenzi,

Mistednin Distinti,

Sinjuri,

Ħuti Maltin


Nistqarr li meta ċempluli biex nagħmel dan id-diskors kont sorpriż. Fil-ħajja professjonali tiegħi ta’ ħidma diplomatika, għamilt ħafna diskorsi ġo fora internazzjonali, dejjem indirizzati lejn udjenza barranija. Illum hi opportunità unika u sabiħa għalija, kif ukoll il-pjaċir tiegħi, li nitkellem għall-udjenza prinċipalment Maltija.


Sinjuri, inħossni umli li ninsab quddiemkom sabiex flimkien infakkru żewġ ġrajjiet importanti fl-istorja ta’ pajjiżna, l-Assedju l-Kbir tal-1565 u l-Assedju tat-Tieni Gwerra Dinjija - Jum il-Vitorja - festa tant għal qalbna l-Maltin u li tant għandha sinifikat mhux biss meta nħarsu lura lejn l-istorja kbira tagħna, imma anke meta nħarsu fil-preżent u fil-futur ta’ pajjiżna u tan-nazzjon tagħna. Ġrajjiet li wrew il-qlubija, l-eroiżmu, il-patrijottiżmu, il-ħila, id-determinazzjoni u l-kuraġġ tal-Maltin. Din hi parti mill-identità tagħna, identità ta’ pajjiżna li tiġbor fiha l-ħeġġa li negħlbu l-ostakoli u l-isfidi ta’ dak kollu li hemm quddiemna.


Ħa nitkellem mill-angolu tiegħi. Bniedem li dejjem ħassu kburi jirrappreżenta lil pajjiżu u l-identità Maltija f’diversi bliet tad-dinja, fosthom ġewwa New York bħala Rappreżentant Permanenti għan-Nazzjonijiet Uniti. Bniedem li ħadem tista’ tgħid f’kull rokna tal-Ministeru tal-Affarijiet Barranin matul medda ta’ 35 sena servizz, li 23 sena minnhom għamilhom barra pajjiżu. Bniedem li xogħlu laqqgħu ma’ nies mill-inħawi kollha tad-dinja, ta’ kulturi, reliġjonijiet u sensittivitajiet diversi. Għaldaqstant ma jistax jonqos li d-diskors tiegħi ma jolqotx ukoll temi dwar ir-relazzjonijiet internazzjonali. Mill-bidu nett nixtieq nagħmilha ċara li dak li ħa ngħid huma l-ħsibijiet tiegħi, u tiegħi biss. Bl-ebda mod ma jistgħu jitqiesu bħala xi forma ta’ direzzjoni uffiċjali jew politika tal-Gvern, wisq anqas li jorbtu l-amministrazzjoni tal-Gvern jew il-Gvern innifsu.


Sinjuri, pajjiżna hu ħolqa minn katina ta’ pajjiżi oħra li biha hi magħmula d-dinja. Pajjiżna, żgħir kemm hu żgħir, hu parti integrali minn din id-dinja. Fi żmien meta d-dinja hi villaġġ globali, dak li jsir jew dak li ma jsirx, jolqot b’mod dirett jew indirett lil pajjiżna, il-mod ta’ kif ngħixu ħajjitna, jew l-opinjonijiet u l-pożizzjonijiet li nkunu fassalna fuq temi, kunċetti, u forsi wkoll fuq pajjiżi. Għalhekk it-tibdil fil-klima, it-tniġġis fil-baħar, il-protezzjoni tal-biodiversità fl-oċejani, l-immigrazzjoni, l-kisba tal-paċi, u t-tnaqqis tal-faqar, biex insemmi ftit fost oħrajn, huma kollha għanijiet globali, li huma parti integrali tal-miri nazzjonali fil-politika barranija tagħna.


Qed ngħid dan għaliex xi kultant ninsew id-distinzjoni bejn stat u pajjiż. Minkejja li d-daqs ta’ pajjiżna huwa żgħir meta mqabbel ma’ pajjiżi oħra, l-Istat Malti hu daqs stati oħra. Hu rikonnoxut bħala stat sovran bl-istess drittijiet daqs stati oħra. Hemm pajjiżi żgħar u kbar, imma l-istati huma kollha ndaqs. U dan jixhdu l-Artiklu 2 Kapitlu I tal-Karta tan-Nazzjonijiet Uniti li tgħid: « L-organizzazzjoni hi bbażata fuq il-prinċipju tal-ugwaljanza sovrana tal-membri kollha tagħha. » Dan jitfa’ piż fuqna – obbligi u responsabiltajiet. Għalkemm forsi mhux bl-istess mod u manjiera minħabba li r-riżorsi tagħna huma ferm anqas, irridu nkunu stat li jerfa’ wkoll sehmu fl-obbligi bħal kull stat sovran ieħor, attur daqs ħaddieħor fid-dinja. Għalhekk huwa tajjeb li nkunu attur involut fit-tfassil tas-soluzzjonijiet globali għall-isfidi preżenti. Hu ta’ ġid għal kulħadd, inkluż għalina, li nkunu attur involut ukoll fl-implimentazzjonijiet tagħhom.


Apparti s-sensiela ta’ trattati u ftehim li għandna ma’ stati oħra, m’hemm xejn affermazzjoni aqwa u aktar għolja tal-Istat Malti mill-pożizzjoni li għandu bħalissa bħala membru mhux permanenti tal-Kunsill tas-Sigurtà tan-Nazzjonijiet Uniti. Hemm ħafna sfidi, illum aktar minn qatt qabel. Dħalna fi żmien diffiċli imma dan ħa jkun parti mill-kontribut tagħna. Tajjeb hawn li nfakkar x’kien qal it-tieni Segretarju Ġenerali tan-Nazzjonijiet Uniti, Dag Hammarskjold, f’Mejju tal-1954 - silta li għadha mniżżla mal-ħitan ta’ wieħed mill-kurituri tas-Segretarjat ta’ din l-Organizzazzjoni universali ġewwa New York. Hu kien qal hekk : « In-Nazzjonijiet Uniti ma ġietx imwaqqfa biex tieħu l-umanità fil-ġenna, imma biex issalva l-umanità mill-infern. » Kemm hu veru l-każ! Aktar minn qatt qabel illum!


L-esperjenza tiegħi fid-diplomazija, ġegħlitni nara il-verità ħarxa. Kif jgħidu: Jgħaddu għexieren ta’ snin fejn ma jiġri xejn, u jgħaddu ġimgħat fejn għexieren ta’ snin iseħħu. Illum, id-dinja qed tkun aktar perikoluża u anqas prevedibbli. Filwaqt li l-pjattaformi tektoniċi tal-qawwiet il-kbar qed jiċċaqalqu taħt saqajna, minħabba diversi raġunijiet ġeo-politiċi u anke minħabba r-rivoluzzjoni teknoloġika, qegħdin ukoll naraw ir-ritorn ta’ pika bla rażan bejn il-qawwiet il-kbar. In-numru ta’ konflitti madwar id-dinja mhux riżolti żdied, saħansitra illum għandna gwerra fuq l-għatba tagħna. Filwaqt li r-riżorsi tad-dinja qed jiġu mnaqqra u mhedda, il-popolazzjoni dinjija laħqet iċ-ċifra ta’ 8 biljuni. Qed nassistu għat-tiġrija għal min ħa jkollu l-vantaġġ l-aktar b’saħħtu fl-ispazju. L-istituzzjonijiet maħluqa mill-arranġamenti ta’ Bretton Woods - il-Fond Monetarju Internazzjonali u l-Bank Dinji – li kienu joffru stabilità u għodda ta’ kummerċ internazzjonali, m’għadhomx aktar addattati għas-sitwazzjoni li jinsabu fiha ħafna pajjiżi, fosthom dawk il-pajjiżi li għadhom qed jiżviluppaw u dawk l-anqas żviluppati. Id-dinja tinsab f’diżordni ġdid.


Fuq dan kollu, issa bdejna naraw li t-tliet mekkaniżmi ta’ sikurezza li kienu ftit jew wisq jipproteġu l-ordni dinji, m’għadhomx jiffunzjonaw. L-ewwelnett ma hawnx aktar volontà li nirrispettaw it-trattati internazzjonali u li nħaddmu l-multilateriżmu. Għall-kuntrarju qed immorru pjuttost lura għall-unilateraliżmu. It-tieni, m’għandniex sistema solida u b’saħħitha ta’ governanza internazzjonali. U t-tielet u din hi l-aktar ħaġa inkwetanti, li m’għadx hawn ir-rieda vera u l-isforz ġenwin bejn in-nazzjonijiet biex insibu pożizzjoni komuni.


Is-sitwazzjoni llum hi oġġettivament perikoluża u kull kriżi serja internazzjonali għandha l-potenzjal li tinħareġ barra kull kontroll. Nixtieq hawn nagħmel osservazzjoni. Il-multilateraliżmu ma jiddgħajjifx biss għax stat jiddeċiedi għal rasu u ma jagħtix każ ta’ qbil jew ta’ ftehim internazzjonali. Dik daqqa kbira. Imma jiddgħajjef ukoll kull darba li stat jivvota fuq kunsiderazzjoni ta’ interess nazzjonali biss fil-fora internazzjonali.


Il-mandat prinċipali tan-Nazzjonijiet Uniti hu ż-żamma tal-paċi u s-sigurtà internazzjonali. Fid-dawl ta’ dak kollu li qed jiġri madwarna, xi wħud malajr jgħidulek li n-Nazzjonijiet Uniti tirrifletti l-problemi tad-dinja imma ma ssollvihomx. Oħrajn jgħidulek li n-Nazzjonijiet Uniti hija forza għad-demokratizzazzjoni imma hi stess mhix organizzazzjoni demokratika. Ftit huma dawk li jgħidu li fin-Nazzjonijiet Uniti huma l-istati membri li jgħoddu; huma l-istati li fl-aħħarnett jiddeċiedu jekk in-Nazzjonijiet Uniti tfalli jew tirnexxi. Li hu żgur hu li wasal iż-żmien għal riforma mill-qiegħ u din id-darba ir-riforma trid tinkludi r-riforma tal-Kunsill tas-Sigurtà. Minkejja li ilna għexieren ta’ snin niddiskutu din ir-riforma tal-Kunsill tas-Sigurtà, s’issa m’hemmx ftehim. Il-ġrajjiet internazzjonali ta’ llum qanqlu l-pedamenti politiċi li fuqha hi mfassla l-Karta tal-Nazzjonijiet Uniti. Iż-żminijiet tal-lum qed jikkumplikaw u jġibu aktar fid-diffikultà l-kompromess meħtieġ biex jintlaħaq ftehim dwar ir-riforma tal-Kunsill tas-Sigurtà.


Sinjuri, kif ħafna jafu, huwa r-rikonnoximent tal-Istat illi jagħmlek stat sovran. Kuntrarju għal dak li forsi wieħed jaħseb, nemmen li s-sovranità ta’ Malta kibret u mhux naqset meta dħalna membri fl-Unjoni Ewropea. Li taqsam biċċa mis-sovranità tiegħek ma’ ħaddieħor, u li ħaddieħor jaqsam is-sovranità tiegħu miegħek, fuq ċerti oqsma, hu eżerċizzju li jwassal għal sovranità aktar wiesgħa u profonda. Tiswa kemm tiswa s-sħubija ta’ Malta fl-Unjoni Ewropea - f’kull forma ta’ prezz - konvint li fiż-żminijiet li qed ngħixu fihom, Malta ma tistax tibqa’ waħedha, jew f’xi ftehim dgħajjef u anqas marbut.


L-Ewropa qed tiffaċċja deċiżjoni eżistenzjali. Xi trid l-Ewropa ? Trid tibqa’ attur sħiħ u indipendenti fid-dinja, b’viżjoni u politika separata tagħha? Jew trid li tirrelega ruħha u tpoġġi lilha nnfisha, bħala xhieda jew spettatur importanti tar-rivalità bejn is-superpotenzi, jew l-agħar ħaġa, li tkun il-kontinent fejn dawn is-superpotenzi jilagħbu l-logħba tagħhom? Hi l-konvinzjoni tiegħi li l-Ewropa għandha r-responsabbilità storika u l-mezzi u riżorsi meħtieġa biex tkun waħda miċ-ċentri prinċipali ta’ azzjoni u influwenza fid-dinja multipolari. Jidher li l-mixja f’din id-direzzjoni diġà bdiet u ġiet aċċellerata bil-gwerra fl-Ukrajna. Jidher li mhux biss il-mixja hi waħda ta’ industrijalizazzjoni Ewropea, ta’ indipendenza tat-teknoloġija avvanzata imma anke ta’ indipendenza ekonomika f’termini l-aktar wiesgħa. Aktar minn hekk, jidher li f’din l-istess mixja, l-Ewropa qed tħares lejn tkabbir ieħor fi ħdanha li jista’ jwassal għal Unjoni Ewropea magħmula minn 35 membru.


Hu fatt li l-Unjoni Ewropea tal-futur ma tistax taħdem bir-regoli tal-Unjoni tal-lum. Hemm diġà diskors informali imma qawwi, li sabiex l-Ewropa tkun tista’ taġixxi b’effiċjenza u b’effettività, fejn jirrigwarda l-proċeduri li bihom jittieħdu d-deċiżjonijiet fil-politika komuni tal-affarijiet barranin u sigurtà, dawn id-deċiżjonijiet ma jibqgħux jittieħdu b’vot unanimu. X’jiswa jekk aħna nkunu newtrali meta d-deċiżjonjiet li ser jittieħdu fl-Unjoni Ewropea ħa jkunu b’maġġoranza ? Qed ngħid hekk għax hu loġiku li wieħed jistenna li f’każ tat-tneħħija tal-vot unanimu, titneħħa wkoll l-opzjoni tal-astensjoni kostruttiva, għax ma jibqax il-bżonn għaliha. Jekk dan iseħħ, wieħed irid jistaqsi jekk il-kunċett tan-newtralità huwiex superfluwu għaliex ser ikollna nobdu u nirrispettaw xorta waħda d-deċiżjonijiet meħuda b’maġġoranza. Hemm ċans, għalkemm nħoss li hu żgħir, li jista’ jkun hemm xi tip ta’ kompromess fis-sens li l-Unjoni żżomm f’xi forma jew oħra, l-kunċett li hemm illum tal-ispirtu tas-solidarjetà mad-deċiżjonijiet maqbula. Imma anke jekk jiġri dan, jibqa’ l-fatt li l-probabbilità hi li l-pajjiżi marbutin kostituzzjonalment man-newtralità ħa jkunu aktar f’pożizzjoni skomda dwar kif ħa jirrikonċiljaw l-aspetti tal-politika komuni tal-affarijiet barranin u sigurtà Ewropea mal-provvedimenti kostituzzjonali tagħhom.


Bla dubju n-newtralità tagħmel sens meta jkun hemm tilwim bejn żewġ stati terzi. Ma nafx kemm tkun effettiva meta l-pajjiż newtrali nnifsu jinqabad fit-tilwim jew jiġi mhedded. Iżjed ma nafx, meta jkun hemm każ ta’ vjolazzjoni tal-prinċipji fundamentali tal-Karta tan-Nazzjonijiet Uniti. Għax dan il-kunċett, sabiħ kemm hu sabiħ, nobbli kemm hu nobbli, jiddependi wisq aktar mill-volontà ta’ ħaddieħor milli tiegħek. Din mhix kwistjoni li ma nixtiqux li jkun hawn il-paċi fid-dinja. Dażgur li nixtiequ l-paċi fid-dinja u għandna naħdmu għaliha. Imma ma nistgħux ma nagħrfux li d-dinja tbiddlet; meta l-preżent mhuwiex bħall- passat, u meta l-futur ħa jkun ukoll differenti m’illum. Jekk aħna ma nkunux dinamiċi anke fi ħsibijietna nitilfu kull sens ta’ aġilità fil-politika barranija tagħna.


Jiena ċert li Malta mhux ser tibża’ mill-ebda diskussjoni f’dan ir-rigward. Fiduċjuż li pajjiżna ħa jilqa’ din l-isfida b’moħħ miftuħ u jistudja sew l-prijoritajiet tagħna bl-iskop li kif dejjem għamel, idawwar din l-isfida f’vantaġġ nett għal pajjiżna. Sinjuri, bħalma fir-relazzjonijiet internazzjonali rridu nħarsu lejn il-politika barranija bil-lenti aktar wiesgħa, dik globali, u mhux biss fuq bażi nazzjonali, hekk ukoll fix-xena domestika rridu npoġġu quddiem għajnejna l-istampa kollha, il-kwadru ħolistiku, meta niġu biex nieħdu deċiżjonijiet jew nfasslu politika fuq qasam partikolari. Ma nistgħux nieħdu deċiżjoni fuq bażi settorali biss jew fuq bażi ta’ kategorija waħda ta’ nies. Irridu naraw li kull deċiżjoni li nieħdu isservi biex tkun ta’ ġid għall-aktar firxa possibbli tas-soċjetà tagħna, mhux biss issa, imma wkoll ‘il quddiem – jekk verament irridu nkunu sostenibbli.


Bħalma għelibna sfidi kbar fil-passat, hekk ukoll nistgħu nagħmlu dan illum. L-isfidi tal-lum forsi m’humiex daqshekk viżibli u forsi wkoll ma jinħassux daqshekk urġenti. Imma huma sfidi li għal ġid ta’ pajjiżna, ma nistgħux ma nagħtux kashom. Għalhekk hi r-responsabbilità tagħna li naraw li f’kull deċiżjoni li nieħdu ma ngħabbux wisq konsegwenzi fuq il-ġenerazzjoni żagħżugħa tagħna. Irridu nassiguraw li l-wirt li nħallulhom ma jkunx wieħed aktar diffiċli u kkumplikat. Kulħadd għandu jifhem il-ħtieġa li ma naħarqux iżżejjed ċerti muturi importanti tal-ekonomija tagħna. Ejjew inkunu attenti aktar fl-ippjanar tagħna ħalli il-poplu tagħna jibqa’ jkollu wesgħat adegwati fejn ikun jista’ jippassiġġa, ipoġġi bilqiegħda fuq bank, jew igawdi l-baħar sabiħ tagħna, mingħajr xkiel għal ħaddieħor, u fuq kollox li jagħmel dan mingħajr ħlas. Ejjew noqgħodu attenti biex ma naslux f’mument fejn f’ċerti oqsma, l-arloġġ ma nkunux nistgħu nreġġawh lura. Nixtieq li bħala poplu, nagħmlu sforz akbar biex inħaddnu il-bżonnijiet ta’ min hu anqas ixxurtjat minna – kemm f’nuqqas ta’ flus kif ukoll f’nuqqas ta’ abilità u saħħa. Ejjew nagħrfu aktar l-importanza u l-ħtieġa li nirrispondu b’urġenza għall-każijiet umani tas-soċjetà tagħna. Irridu dejjem niftakru li s-sisien tas-soċjetà tagħna hu l-bniedem bħala parti mill-umanità. Ejjew ma ninsewx li kulħadd ġo pajjiżna - Malti jew mhux, ġej minn fejn ġej, u ġie kif ġie - irid iħobb u li jrid ikun maħbub. Kulħadd għandu jagħmel sforz akbar biex juri rispett għal ħaddiehor. Nixtieq li nkunu anqas kattivi ma’ xulxin u anqas goffi fi kliemna u f’kitbitna. Fl-aħħarnett, ejjew ma naħsbux biss fuq il-bażi ta’ issa imma naħsbu wkoll fuq il-bażi ta’ għada. Jidhirli li wasal iż-żmien li lkoll kemm aħna bħala poplu wieħed, għandna neżaminaw bir-reqqa fejn irridu naslu bħala nazzjon u bħala pajjiz tletin sena oħra, ħamsin sena oħra u aktar.


Kulħadd għandu moħħ biex jifhem. Persważ li kulħadd hu konxju minn dan. Ma nistgħux inħallu li l-vantaġġi li għandna bħala pajjiż ta’ territorju limitat, jinbidlu fi żvantaġġi. Hemm bżonn ukoll li nfiehmu lill-poplu tagħna li wasal iż-żmien li nieħdu deċiżjonijiet diffiċli biex insaħħu s-sostennibilità fit-tul ta’ pajjiżna. Jekk ma nagħmlux dan, wisq nibża li wliedna u wlied uliedna, ħa jkollhom jieħdu deċiżjonijiet aktar diffiċli, b’konsegwenzi aktar iebsa. Irridu nxekklu l-assedju mentali li qed joħnoq il-ħsieb ħieles. F’dan il-pajjiż, jekk ser immorru lura, kulħadd ħa jinżel, anke dak li forsi bħalissa qed jaħseb li qed imur tajjeb. Jekk ser immorru ‘l quddiem, kulħadd ser jitla’. F’pajjiżna nqumu jew naqgħu bħala nazzjon wieħed, bħala poplu wieħed. Ejjew mela nirreżistu t-tentazzjoni tal-ispirtu partiġġjan u tal-immaturità.


Minkejja kollox, għandi fiduċja fil-futur u ħafna fiduċja f’pajjiżna. Malta kellha u għad għandha potenzjal enormi. Il-poplu tagħna kapaċi josserva u jixtarr. Jaspira, u għandu l-ħila li jwettaq. L-appell tiegħi imur għaż-żgħazagħ tagħna, l-mexxejja t’għada. Żgħażagħ intelliġenti. Żgħażagħ ħabrieka u ħawtiela. Nħeġġiġhom biex jiddevertu aktar fil-qari u fit-tagħlim tal-lingwi. Nixtieq li ż-żgħażagħ tagħna, filwaqt li japprezzaw l-iswed u l-abjad, jagħrfu wkoll li hemm ħafna griż bejniethom. Fuq kollox nixtieq li ż-żgħażagħ tagħna jkunu kburin li huma Maltin, li jħobbu lsienhom u li jħobbu lil pajjiżhom.


It-tama tiegħi hi li l-ġenerazzjoni żagħżugħa jaraw lid-dinja bħala parti minnhom, bħala l-ħabiba tagħhom. U li jridu li Malta tkun maħbuba mid-dinja u li Malta tħobb lid-dinja.


Agħti, Kbir Alla, id-dehen lil min jaħkimha,

Rodd il-ħniena lis-sid, saħħa ‘l ħaddiem.

Seddaq il-għaqda fil-Maltin u s-Sliem.



 

Victory Day - Speech of 8 September 2023

This speech was going to be presented by the Ambassador of Malta to France, Mr Carmelo Inguanez, during the Victory Day ceremony scheduled for 6th September. Due to the adverse weather conditions, the ceremony took place in a reduced manner.

Honourable Prime Minister,

Honourable Mr Speaker,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

My compatriots


I confess that when I was called to give this speech I was surprised. In my professional life of diplomatic work, I made many speeches in international fora, always addressed to a foreign audience. Today is a unique and wonderful opportunity for me, as well as my pleasure, to speak for a mainly Maltese audience.


Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel humbled to be in front of you to commemorate two important events in the history of our country, the Great Siege of 1565 and the Siege of the Second World War - Victory Day - a feast so dear to our hearts and which is so significant not only when we look back at our great history, but also when we look at the present and future of our country and nation. These are events that showed the bravery, heroism, patriotism, skill, determination, and courage of the Maltese. This is part of our identity, an identity of our country that underlines the urge to overcome the obstacles and challenges of everything that is thrown at us.


I shall speak from my own perspective. A man who always felt proud to represent his country and the Maltese identity in various cities of the world, including in New York as a Permanent Representative to the United Nations. A man who has worked in almost every corner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a period of 35 years of service, of which 23 years he spent abroad. A man whose work has brought him to meet people from all over the world, of different cultures, religions, and sensitivities. Therefore, my speech cannot but touch on themes of international relations. From the outset I would like to make it clear that what I have to say are my thoughts, and mine alone. In no way can they be considered as any form of official or political direction of the Government, much less so that they bind the Government’s administration or the Government itself.


Ladies and Gentlemen, our country is a link in the chain of other countries that make up the world. Our country, small as it is, is an integral part of this world. In a time when the world is a global village, what is done or what is not done, will either directly or indirectly affect our country, the way we live our lives, or the opinions and positions we have drawn up on themes, concepts, and maybe also on other countries. In this sense, climate change, marine pollution, the protection of biodiversity in the oceans, immigration, the achievement of peace, and the reduction of poverty, to mention a few among others, are all global goals, which are an integral part of the national goals in our foreign policy.


I am saying this because sometimes we forget the distinction between state and country. Despite the fact that the size of our country is small when compared to other countries, the Maltese State is equal to other states. It is recognized as a sovereign state with the same rights as other states. There are small and big countries, but all states are equal. And this is evidenced by Article 2 Chapter I of the Charter of the United Nations which states: « The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members. » This puts a burden on us - obligations and responsibilities. Although perhaps not in the same way and manner as other states because our resources are much less, we must be a state that also takes its share of the obligations like any other sovereign state. We must be an actor as much as anyone else in the world. Therefore, it is good to take an active part in the design of global solutions for the present challenges, and it is good for everyone, including us, to take an active part also, in their implementation.


Apart from the series of treaties and agreements that we have with other states, there is no better and higher affirmation of the Maltese State than the position it currently occupies as a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations. There are many challenges, today, more than ever. We joined as member of the Security Council at a difficult time, but this will be part of our contribution. It would do well to recall what the second Secretary General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold said in May 1954 - a passage that is still written on the walls of one of the corridors of the Secretariat of this universal Organization in New York. He said this: « The United Nations was not founded to take humanity to heaven, but to save humanity from hell. » This is so true! More than ever, today!


My experience in diplomacy, made me see the harsh truth. As they say: There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen. Today, the world is becoming more dangerous and less predictable. While the tectonic plates of the great powers are shifting under our feet, due to various geo-political reasons and also due to the technological revolution, we are also witnessing the return of a heightened competition between the major world powers. The number of unresolved conflicts around the world has increased; today we even have a war on our doorstep. While the world's resources are being depleted and threatened, the world population has reached the figure of 8 billion. We are witnessing another space race, with world powers competing to gain an advantage beyond Earth itself. The institutions created by the Bretton Woods arrangements - the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank - which offered stability and tools for international trade, are no longer suitable for the situation which many countries find themselves in, especially the developing countries and the least developed countries. We are now in a new world disorder.


Moreover, we have now begun to realize that the three safety mechanisms that were more or less protecting the world order, no longer function. First, there is no more will to respect international treaties and to operate multilaterally. On the contrary, we are rather regressing to unilateralism. Second, the world does not have a solid and strong system of international governance. And thirdly, and this is arguably the most troubling, there is no longer a real will and genuine effort of nations to find common ground between them.


The situation today is objectively dangerous, and any serious international crisis has the potential of spinning out of control. I would like to make an observation here. Multilateralism is not only weakened when States act unilaterally and ignore international accords and agreements. That is a big blow. But multilateralism is also weakened each time a State votes solely on consideration of their immediate national interests in international fora.


The main mandate of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security. Considering everything that is happening around us, some would quickly draw the conclusion that the United Nations merely reflects the world's problems but does nothing to solve them. Others would say that the United Nations is a force for democratization but is not a democratic organization itself. Only a few would say that in the United Nations, it is the member states that count; it is the States that ultimately decide whether the United Nations fails or succeeds. What is certain is that the time has come for a major reform and, this time, the reform must include the reform of the Security Council. Even though we have been discussing the Security Council reform for decades, there is still no agreement. Today's international events have rocked the political foundations on which the Charter of the United Nations was drafted. The present times make any possible compromise to reach an agreement on the reform of the Security Council even more complex and difficult.


Ladies and Gentlemen, as many know, it is the recognition of the state that makes it a sovereign state. Contrary to what one might think, I believe that Malta's sovereignty has increased and not decreased when it joined the European Union. To share a piece of your sovereignty with others, and for others to share their sovereignty with you, in certain areas, is an exercise that leads to a wider and deeper sovereignty. Whatever the cost of Malta's membership in the European Union - in any form of price - I am convinced that in the present times, Malta cannot remain alone, or in any weaker and less binding agreement.


Europe is facing an existential question. What does Europe want? Does it want to remain a fully-fledged player and independent actor on the world stage, with a distinct vision and policy of its own? Or does it want to relegate itself and define itself, at best, as an important witness or spectator of the rivalry between the great global powers, or at worst, to be the continent where these superpowers play their game? It is my conviction that Europe has the historical responsibility and the necessary means and resources to be one of the main centers of action and influence in a multipolar world. It seems that the move in this direction has already started and was accelerated by the war in Ukraine. It seems that not only the path is one of European industrialization, of advanced technological independence but also of economic independence in the broadest of terms. More than that, it seems that in this same direction, Europe is looking at another enlargement that could lead to a European Union made up of 35 members.


It is a fact that the European Union of the future cannot work with the rules of today's Union. There is already an informal but strong discourse, that in order for Europe to be able to act efficiently and effectively, when it relates to the procedures by which decisions are taken in the common foreign and security policy, these decisions would no longer be taken by a unanimous vote. What value do we have as a neutral state if the decisions in the European Union will be taken by majority voting? I am saying this because it is logical to expect that in case of the removal of unanimity, the option of constructive abstention will also be removed, because there would no longer be a need for it. If this happens, one must question whether the concept of neutrality would become superfluous given that Malta would have to obey and respect decisions taken by majority voting irrespective of its neutrality. There is a chance, although I feel it is small, that there could be some kind of compromise in the sense that the Union maintains in some form, the concept that exists today of the spirit of solidarity with the decisions agreed upon. But even if this were to happen, the fact remains that the probability is that the countries constitutionally bound to neutrality will be in an awkward position as to how to reconcile the aspects of European common foreign and security policy with their constitutional provisions.


Undoubtedly neutrality makes sense when there are disputes between two states. I doubt neutrality would be effective when it is the neutral country itself that is caught up in disputes or threats. It is a greater unknown, when there is a case of violation of the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter. Because this concept, as beautiful as it is, as noble as it is, depends more on the will of other states than of yours. This is not a matter of not wanting peace in the world. Of course, we want peace in the world, and we should work for it. But we cannot fail to recognize that the world has changed; when the present is not like the past, and when the future will also be different from today. If we are not dynamic, even in our thinking, we will lose every sense of agility in our foreign policy.


I am sure that Malta will not be afraid of any discussion in this regard. I am confident that our country will welcome this challenge with an open mind and study our priorities well with the aim of turning this challenge into a net advantage for our country, as it has always done.


Ladies and Gentlemen, just as in international relations we must look at foreign policy from a broader lens, a global perspective, and not only on a national basis, so also in the domestic scene we must consider the whole picture, the holistic picture, when it comes to making decisions or drawing up a policy in a particular field. We cannot take decisions on a merely sectoral basis or on the basis of one category of people. Every decision we make must serve to benefit the widest possible range of our society, and not only in the present, but also in the future – that is, if we really want to be sustainable.


Just as we have overcome great challenges in the past, so can we do so today. Today's challenges are perhaps not so visible and perhaps also not felt so urgent. But they are challenges that for the good of our country, we cannot ignore. Therefore, it is our responsibility to see that in every decision we make we do not burden too many consequences on our young generation. We want to ensure that the legacy we leave them is not a more difficult and complicated one. Everyone must understand the need not to overheat certain important motors of our economy. Let us be more careful in our planning so that our people continue to have adequate spaces where they can walk, sit on a bench, or enjoy our beautiful sea, without hindrance for others, and above all to do this without payment. Let us be careful not to reach a moment where in certain areas, we cannot even turn back the hands of time. I wish that as a people we make a greater effort to embrace the needs of those who are less fortunate than us - both in lack of money and in lack of ability and health. Let us recognize more the importance and the need to respond urgently to the human events of our society. We must always remember that the basis of our society is that man is part of humanity. Let us not forget that everyone in our country - Maltese or not, from wherever he came, and by whatever means he came here - wants to love and to be loved. Everyone should make a greater effort to show respect for others. We must be less mean to each other and less rude in our words and in our writing. Finally, let us not only think on the basis of now but also think on the basis of tomorrow. It seems to me that the time has come that all of us as one people, should carefully assess where we want our nation and our country to be in another thirty years, another fifty years and more.


Those who want to understand will understand. I am convinced that everyone is aware of all this. We cannot permit the advantages that we have as a country of limited territory to turn into disadvantages. There is also a need to make our people understand that the time has come to take difficult decisions to strengthen the long-term sustainability of our country. If we do not do this, I am very afraid that our children and our grandchildren will have to make more difficult decisions themselves, with more severe consequences. We must conquer the mental siege that is stifling free thought. If the country regresses, everyone loses, even he who might think that he is doing well at the moment. If the country progresses, everyone wins. In this country of ours we rise and fall as one nation, as one people. Let us then resist the temptation of partisanship and immaturity.


Despite everything, I have faith in the future and a lot of faith in our country. Malta had and still has enormous potential. Our people can observe and evaluate. They aspire and have the ability to fulfill. My appeal goes to our youth, the leaders of tomorrow. Smart young people. Hard working young people. I encourage them to pursue fun through reading and learning languages. I would like our young people, while appreciating the black and the white, to recognize that there is also a whole lot of grey in between. Above all, I want our young people to be proud to be Maltese, to love their language and to love their country.


My hope is in this young generation, that they see the world as being a part of them, as their friend. And that they want Malta to be loved by the world and for Malta to love the world.


Give, Great God, wisdom to those who master it,

Give mercy to the owner, strength to the worker.

Foster unity among the Maltese and peace.




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