The Malta Independent 20 January 2019, Sunday

'Wealth and prosperity mean nothing when we are still depriving people of dignity' - President

Thursday, 10 January 2019, 13:25 Last update: about 9 days ago

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca called upon all of the European Member States to live up to the founding ideals of solidarity and goodwill and called on them to make their commitment towards universal human rights “a reality.”

The President was addressing the Heads of the Diplomatic Missions accredited to Malta for the traditional Exchange of New Year’s Greetings.

Speaking on the recent migration saga, the President acknowledged Malta’s intervention, despite being the smallest member state of the EU, and thanked the European Commission for its endeavours to bring together the eight member states which have agreed to help in the reallocation of these distressed people.

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“How can we, as European nations of goodwill, have allowed the mental, physical, and emotional distress of innocent individuals, to take place, over such a long period of time?”, President Coleiro Preca asked, whilst reminding that these vulnerable children, women and men, are fleeing from various difficult situations: some from war; some from extreme poverty; some from persecution and abuse, and others, from the effects of environmental degradation.

The President urged the Ambassadors and High Commissioners to emphasise that human dignity, especially the dignity of the most vulnerable, should be the cornerstone of all of our endeavours, and said that the phenomenon of migration should be faced together, by sharing responsibilities among European member states, in a dignified manner which also respects fundamental human rights, and not in an “ad hoc” manner.

“When we speak of the importance of global peace, we also need to ensure that we address inequalities and injustices, by implementing a global social solidarity approach,” The President added.

The President stated that the endeavours of Ambassadors and High Commissioners must be focused on the need that the world has, to nurture equality and solidarity, adding that “our world needs sustainable friendships and long-lasting alliances, to pursue peace and prosperity for all.”

On the upcoming European Parliamentary Elections, the President stated that these will surely create an opportunity for Europeans to show what kind of institutions we aspire to have, reiterating what she had mentioned in the Republic Day speech, when she said that in today’s world we are witnessing the results of what happens, when governments abandon the social contract in favour of excessive profits.

“Social Europe is becoming more of an economic Europe. Data tells us that 1 in 4 Europeans is living in poverty, and is thereby excluded from the social identity that used to make Europe so proud,” Her Excellency stated, whilst adding that there is so much for us to do, both within Europe and further afield, to build societies in which each and every individual is fully respected in their dignity, and enjoys equitable access to opportunities to nurture their economic and social wellbeing.

 

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