Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
In his traditional New Year’s Greetings to the foreign ambassadors accredited to Malta, President George Vella chose to reflect on the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on diplomacy.
The greetings themselves had to adapt: instead of the typical dinner at Verdala Palace, this year all those involved had to make do with a virtual gathering.
Vella said that communication technology had served well, “but the more I had to use them the more I convinced myself, that in diplomacy nothing replaces direct personal human interaction.” He expressed his hope that there would be a speedy return to ambassadors’ usual routine of duties, with meetings, delegations, trade missions and official visits.
But as everyone awaited an end to this chapter, Vella appealed for everyone not to discard the lessons learnt.
“First and foremost comes the value of global solidarity and compassion that literally saved lives over the past months. It is what speeded the production and delivery of an effective vaccine, and what assured access to preventive clothing, hospital medical apparatus, and the access to the vaccines themselves,” the President said.
He also observed that one should not be satisfied with seeing “global solidarity” give results only on European soil, and said that everyone needed to work hard on this. He insisted that Covid-19 vaccines should be distributed in a just and equitable manner to all.