A seminar on the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security for the Mediterranean Region was held today.
Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella, who was present at the seminar, thanked the Conflict Prevention Centre under the OSCE’s Forum for Security Cooperation for having chosen Malta to host the seminar.
Dr Vella pointed out that while this is not the first OSCE seminar held in Malta dealing specifically on Mediterranean related issues, yet it is the first event of its nature which is addressing contemporary issues of particular relevance to the Mediterranean region.
“Malta’s geo-strategic relevance in the centre of the Mediterranean has led the country to pursue a proactive foreign policy,|” Dr Vella said.
He added: “The importance Malta attaches to security in the Mediterranean is well-known. We have constantly sought to highlight this in all international fora, not least in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
“It will be recalled that it was Malta which nearly four decades ago, during the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation, initiated the Mediterranean Process.
“It is also appropriate to recall that in its Final Act, the Helsinki Conference adopted the Mediterranean Chapter which, among other things, declared that security in the Mediterranean is closely linked to European Security, as well as to international peace and security,” he said.
He highlighted that what is happening in this region today is the embodiment of this concept borne out of the Helsinki Conference, and confirms the foresight of the government of Malta in those days, when the Cold War dominated international regional politics.
“The Guiding Principles of Malta’s Foreign Policy clearly reaffirm Malta’s intention to continue to give special attention to the Mediterranean dimension in its contribution to stability, peace and security in the region by seeking, among other things, to support neighbouring countries in their endeavours to establish functioning democracies based on the principles of justice, freedom and the rule of law,” Dr Vella said.