Pope Francis receives delegation of local authorities and NGOs

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience after giving a message to people of the United States, honouring George Floyd and saying "no one can turn a blind eye to racism", in this still image taken from video at the Vatican, June 3, 2020. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

On Thursday, Pope Francis received a delegation of mayors and civil society representatives that included the Mayor of Marsa, Josef Azzopardi, and Kopin Executive Director, William Grech.

The delegation was led by the Mayor of Lampedusa, Totò Martello, representing the participating towns and NGOs of the EU funded project “Snapshots from the Borders”.

Following the meeting, Josef Azzopardi and William Grech stated that the meeting is part of an ongoing initiative to bring the situation of places like Marsa to the attention of national, European and international fora and decision-makers.

They stated that Marsa has had to face many challenges all alone and it is important leaders to understand this reality.

“We are here today to continue raising the voice of our citizens in order to have effective and practical solidarity delivered at the grassroots level, so that no one is left behind,” stated the delegation.

It was further explained that this is in line with the goals of the Agenda 2030 that aims at delivering a sustainable future for everyone, wherever they are living.

They also stated that they are collaborating and campaigning with similar towns in order to gain insights that create win-win solutions for Marsa and other Maltese localities that might be facing similar issues.

The delegation that met Pope Francis also included mayors of Crnomelj and Maribor in Slovenia, Pesaro in Italy, Grande-Synthe in France, Traiskirchen in Austria and Straß in Steiermark.