The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

Malta reiterates call for commitment to an inclusive political process in Libya

Thursday, 27 September 2018, 13:33 Last update: about 3 months ago

“Malta continues to fully support the United Nations-led facilitation towards finding a lasting solution on the basis of the UN Action Plan on Libya, with the overarching baseline remaining a full commitment by the Libyans and the international community alike to an inclusive political process and the renunciation of the military track”, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela told the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Libyan Government of National Accord Mohammed Taher Siala. The two ministers exchanged views on the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Wednesday 26th September 2018.

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Minister Abela said that Malta welcomes the adoption of the ceasefire that was brokered by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Libya Ghassan Salamé on 4th September 2018. It remains imperative that the parties concerned respect that ceasefire to ensure that the indiscriminate use of violence comes to an end. This will ensure that security and stability are reinstated, for the benefit of the country and its people, as well as the whole Mediterranean region. 

On the political front, Malta believes that inclusive, free and fair elections should only be held once the required legal framework is in place. This would ensure that the outcome of the elections would be acceptable to all in Libya, thereby establishing a sound basis for the future. Accordingly, Malta emphasises the necessity to adopt a constitution before the holding of elections. Security on the ground during the elections will also be essential.  

Also on the fringes of the UNGA, Malta established diplomatic relations with the Federated States of Micronesia. Minister Carmelo Abela and Micronesian Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert signed the Protocol and Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations on Tuesday, 25th September 2018. “Despite the geographical distance, we are two small island states sharing similar interests such as maritime affairs and the impact of climate change”, said Minister Abela during a meeting with his Micronesian counterpart.

Other bilateral encounters in New York were held with UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba, and with the UN Special Envoy for the Oceans Peter Thomson. Minister Abela told Virginia Gamba that Malta welcomes the positive developments brought about by the vital work of the UN, civil society and, in many cases, concerned governments showing true commitment to safeguarding the rights of the child as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. He announced that Malta will be committing funds to the Children, Not Soldiers campaign, an initiative by Virginia Gamba’s Office and UNICEF, aimed to bring about a global consensus that child soldiers should not be used in conflict.

The meeting with Peter Thomson focused on the international community’s commitments vis-á-vis ocean matters. There was agreement that, in spite of the tough challenges in handing over healthy oceans to the next generations, the global comunity has put a good plan in place and the battle can be won. Mr Thomson described Malta as a driver and one of the global facilitators of ocean action, and commended the country for being one of the first to appoint an Ocean Ambassador.

In New York, Minister Abela also had talks with the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani. They exchanged views on regional issues as well as Malta-GCC cooperation.

Other commitments for the Foreign Minister included attending the opening of the UNGA Ministerial Week and of the UN Security Council, as well as a meeting of the ‘Uniting for Consensus’ (UfC) Group of States held to assess the state of play of the Security Council reform process. He also participated in a high-level event on Syria organised by the European Union, and in another coordinated by the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration aimed at building momentum, among member states and other stakeholders, towards the Intergovernmental Conference which will be held in Morocco in December to adopt the text of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

 

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