Current Affairs
Wealth and economic growth are useless if there are persons deprived of dignity – President

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca said that wealth and economic growth are useless if there are persons who are deprived of their human dignity.

During a new year’s greetings ceremony with members of the diplomatic corp, the President appealed for a structural system of responsibility sharing on the migration issue, and  not ad-hoc solutions as occurred in the case of the 49 persons, including six children, who spent almost three weeks at sea.

In her last speech as President to ambassadors and honorary counsels accredited to Malta, President Coleiro Preca encouraged them to emphasize that human dignity, especially that of vulnerable persons, should be at the centre of their work.

”Wealth and economic prosperity mean nothing, when we are still depriving people from their rightful and intrinsic human dignity”, the President said.

The President asked how could European countries permit psychological, physical and emotional suffering of migrants on board two NGOs vessels for such a long time. She recalled that these persons have escaped from difficult situations, such as wars, extreme poverty, persecution and abuse, and the effects of environmental degradation. The President appealed that the migration issue is addressed in a structural and dignified manner between European countries and not by hiccup action when an emergency is created.

“We must face the phenomenon of migration together, not in an ‘ad hoc’ manner, but by sharing responsibilities among European Member States in a dignified manner, and which respects fundamental human rights”.

President Coleiro Preca also appealed for a commitment in favour of human rights and called on EU countries to respect the solidarity ideal on which the European Union was built. In order for global peace to reign, she added, issues of inequality and injustices should be addressed with a global commitment of social solidarity.

The Maltese President stated that the European Parliament elections will be an opportunity for Europeans to determine the type of institutions they wish, while people are currently watching the results of events when Governments abandon the social contract in favour of excessive profits and people lose confidence in the political class and recur to populist ideologies.

She quoted figures which show that one in every four persons in Europe lives in poverty and called for efforts by ambassadors and high commissioners to focus on the need of equality and solidarity.

The President further appealed to the Diplomatic Corp to give greater commitment in favour of social and economic development in the African continent, to environmental responsibilities, peace in the Mediterranean and education, which she described as the key to overcome extremism and social upheaval.

The Diplomatic Corp’s dean, Vatican ambassador Alessandro D’Errico, said that 2018 is part of history however the forces which move history – both good and less good events, remain with us. He said that each new year beginning brings hope that future history will consist of good forces in favour of each person’s dignity.

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