The Malta Independent 16 October 2019, Wednesday

Only by showing solidarity can we appreciate benefits of multiculturalism - President

Friday, 12 February 2016, 18:35 Last update: about 5 years ago

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca said today that it was only through showing solidarity with each other that people can truly appreciate the benefits of multiculturalism.

Addressing a seminar on multiculturalism education entitled ‘What can I do?’ Mrs Coleiro Preca said she dreamt and believed in an inclusive and confident Malta. “It is only with a sense of confidence in ourselves and our communities that we can remain a nation able to affront, with courage, the fast and unpredictable change today’s world is going through.”

She said it was possible to guarantee that everyone participated fully in society through inclusivity in every sector, especially education. “It is only when we show solidarity with each other that we can change society from the ground up and start truly appreciating the benefits of multiculturalism.”

The President said these were the main aims for setting up the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, so that through research and consultation processes it would create secure, respectful and dignified spaces where people can share their experiences and have their identity recognised, sometimes for the first time in their lives.

Marie Louise Coleuro Preca said she was disappointed that the efforts of those who truly wanted to bring about change through a more inclusive society were being seriously hindered by people who decided to close their hearts to the message of unity and peace. These people, she said, could lead to introvert communities, extremism and, in some cases violence. “I believe that it is very important to react against this mentality that brings about divisions. We should do our very best to promote inclusive education. I truly believe in education as being a primary means to spread awareness and the values of unity, solidarity, respect and dignity.”

Mrs Coleiro Preca said that while dialogue and respect towards different opinions was needed, politicians and leaders of society should lead by example and understand that they have a duty and strong responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

She also spoke on the need for a more open and inclusive education system, stressing that children often understood better than adults the importance of friendship and weaving a system of connections between people with different experiences, in a spirit of liberty and respect.

“Our children yearn for health and genuine friendships. They reflect this during initiatives held by this office during which I listen to and discuss with them. No one is born prejudiced. No one is born with a capability to hate. No one is born an egoist. No one is born an extremist. No one is born violent. It is our duty as adults to show our young the way.”

  • don't miss