George Vella closes Anna Lindh Foundation Med Forum 2016
Minister for Foreign Affairs, George W. Vella yesterday delivered the concluding remarks at the Anna Lindh Foundation Med Forum 2016, held over the past two days at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta with around 600 participants from 42 countries from various organisations hailing from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Dr Vella started by praising the participants for the passionate way in which they spoke about the challenges facing the Mediterranean, and also the high degree of commitment the participants showed towards this cause.
In his concluding remarks, Dr Vella underlined that today was a special day for Malta but also a defining day in Malta’s preparation of its first Presidency of the European Council. Minister Vella explained that it was a defining day because since the outset of Malta’s partnership on this landmark Med Forum 2016, shared with the Anna Lindh Foundation, two core concepts were underlined. Firstly, that the Forum should not be a one-off event, but a process to catalyse collaboration among the main actors of the region at this critical time for regional cooperation, and secondly, that the Forum legacy should centre on a fundamental shift in how relations between Europe and its Mediterranean Neighbourhood, with people-to-people at its core, should be reactivated.
Dr Vella emphasised that Med Forum 2016 is today sending a powerful message to Europe, the Mediterranean, and the wider world, that there are alternatives to the extremist discourse dominating the global politics, media and our personal lives. Dr Vella stated that the strategic vision for the Anna Lindh Foundation’s growing centrality in the coming years, is very much aligned to Malta’s EU Presidency objectives when it comes to bringing Mediterranean Dialogue to the central discussion on how to face common socio-political challenges.