The Japanese NGO, Peace Boat docked in Malta today as part of its world tour.
The cruise liner has been visiting Malta since it started operating 1983 and considers it one of its key stops outside of Asia. Malta, ‘does hold a special place in our activities,’ Peace Boat’s International Director Nina Matsumoto tells Newsbook.com.mt.
The latest voyage marks its 101st cruise around the world and another set of 1,000 people made up of mostly Japanese and a host of foreign nationals are its passengers.
Listening is the first step
The purpose of the Peace Boat is to facilitate an intercultural exchange and understanding between people on issues from disarmament to sustainability, Matsumoto explains. Most importantly the experience, ‘invites people to listen before anything else.’
Special Consultative Status
According to the International Director, Peace boat has a special consultative status within the United Nations, making it one of the very few to possess the title and likely the only one ‘floating in the sea that promotes peace and discussion on climate change.’
She explains that all their activities are all run and operated in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This is understood to include their tours and excursions as well as the main educational events. Guest educators and organisations are picked up at different ports and provide courses to the youths on peace, reconciliation and climate change. These take place while the vessel is at sea.
‘We get participants to learn about the United Nations and to become responsible citizens.’
Ministers Carmelo Abela, Jose Herrera and Evarist Bartolo, as well as Malta’s Climate Change Ambassador Professor Simone Borg, were also in attendance.