Maltese High Commission in Ghana ‘soon’ – Muscat; Restore human dignity – President

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat exchanges New Year’s Greetings with Heads of Diplomatic Missions Auberge de Castille, Valletta DOI: Jeremy Wonnacott

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said that Malta will soon be setting up a High Commission in Ghana.

In his New Year’s Speech to the heads of diplomatic missions in Malta, Dr Muscat outlined that as part of Malta’s outreach in solidarity and trade with Africa, a new High Commission Office would be opening in Accra.

He explained that Ghana was one of Africa’s largest economies within the ECOWAS group and that the High Commission would be a ‘platform to engage more directly with Ghana, as well as the whole of ECOWAS’

Further increasing their influence in Africa, Dr Muscat said that, ‘Malta has nominated a non-resident Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, who will focus on the Horn of Africa in the east through Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union. We will also aim to engage with African partners throughout the continent this year.’

In addition to discussing the prospects for 2019, Dr Muscat also highlighted the countries political, social and economic achievements, both domestically and internationally over 2018.

He spoke of the country’s current tenure of the co-Presidency of the 5+5 Western Mediterranean Dialogue with Algeria.

He also praised the country’s achievements with the Blockchain Summit in October, which brought in over 8,500 people and the showcase of international blockchain representatives.

‘The recent achievements registered by my government are both a source of encouragement, and indication of what is yet to come. It is in this spirit that I wish to convey a message of confidence and partnership, which I hope will guide our efforts in the coming year.’, he explained.

‘Human dignity… should be the cornerstone of all of our endeavours’

President of Malta, Marie Louise Coliera Preca has told ambassadors and High Commissioners attending the New Year’s event that ‘human dignity… should be the cornerstone of all of our endeavours’.

The President was referencing the struggles faced by the 49 migrants that had been stranded at sea off the Maltese coast awaiting a decision to be made on their future.

She thanked both the Maltese government and the European Commission for accepting and mediating the process which will see those disembarked transferred to eight European countries.

The president also stated that European member states should, ‘live up to the ideals of solidarity and goodwill upon which our Union was established decades ago,’ and that all countries should ‘make our commitment towards universal human rights, a reality.’

Turning to the upcoming European elections, she explained that having strong relationships and alliances will help Europeans to shape institutions focused on the social well-being and no longer on the economic self-interest.

‘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,’

To improve, there is a need to work together inside Europe to ensure the human dignity, equality and access to opportunities, she added.