The Malta Independent 23 September 2017, Saturday

Malta hosts annual Arraiolos conference: President calls for drive in social injustice

Thursday, 14 September 2017, 16:29 Last update: about 8 days ago

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said economic growth must run in line with investments in strategies for social justice.

She was speaking at the annual Arraiolos conference, held at the Grand Masters Palace Valletta. The annual Arraiolos conference s a multinational informal convention of both executive and non-executive, presidents of European Union member states focusing on social issues.

The theme for this year’s meeting ies “Crossing Borders”, with the President inviting one and all to reflect on how Europe can rediscover its core social values and reclaim its social model.

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With this year being the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the important Treaties of Rome, which laid the foundations of Europe, Coleiro Preca spoke about her wishes for the conference to continue a sense of dialogue, and discover shared opportunities for peace, while also providing a focus on issues that are important to the Union. "I believe that it is essential for us to discuss the social dimension of our Union" as the EU pressed to promote a social pillar.

"I believe that it is also our responsibility, as Heads of State, to ensure that questions of social justice, of socio-economic inclusion, and of democratic participation are kept high on the agenda of our respective countries, and across our family of nations."

"We must admit that unfortunately, many of our nations are currently facing social and political tensions, and uncertainties."

"We must be united together, to embrace our social, as well as our economic realities," she said, as we cannot be afraid to tackle issues such as poverty and social exclusion. She also noted the issues which Europe faces today including: economic globalisation; processes of migration; social uncertainties; the threat of transnational crime; and the promotion of global peace and security. To tackle such issues we must work as "one human family", she said.

The President emphasised the immediate action needed to tackle the effects of climate change, with a holistic and united approach.

The President said that “we must act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our nations” to ensure a low carbon energy future, for all. "We must learn from the good practices of one another, and share our knowledge, in pursuit of one common goal, for a better world. We must work together to find innovative ways for our nations to produce, and to use, clean and renewable energy" she said.

"On concluding, let me once again quote yesterday’s State of the Union address, delivered by the President of the European Commission, who said, and I quote; “Now is the time to build a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe for 2025.”

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