Malta hosts an­nual Ar­raio­los con­fer­ence: President calls for drive in so­cial in­jus­tice

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Re­becca Iversen

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said eco­nomic growth must run in line with in­vest­ments in strate­gies for so­cial jus­tice.

She was speak­ing at the an­nual Ar­raio­los con­fer­ence, held at the Grand Mas­ters Palace Val­letta. The an­nual Ar­raio­los con­fer­ence is a multi­na­tional in­for­mal con­ven­tion of both ex­ec­u­tive and non-ex­ec­u­tive, pres­i­dents of Euro­pean Union mem­ber states fo­cus­ing on so­cial is­sues.

The theme for this year’s meet­ing is “Cross­ing Bor­ders”, with the President invit­ing one and all to re­flect on how Europe can re­dis­cover its core so­cial val­ues and re­claim its so­cial model.

With this year be­ing the 60th An­niver­sary of the sign­ing of the im­por­tant Treaties of Rome, which laid the foun­da­tions of Europe, Coleiro Preca spoke about her wishes for the con­fer­ence to con­tinue a sense of di­a­logue, and dis­cover shared op­por­tu­ni­ties for peace, while also pro­vid­ing a fo­cus on is­sues that are im­por­tant to the Union. “I be­lieve that it is es­sen­tial for us to dis­cuss the so­cial di­men­sion of our Union” as the EU pressed to pro­mote a so­cial pil­lar.

“I be­lieve that it is also our re­spon­si­bil­ity, as Heads of State, to en­sure that ques­tions of so­cial jus­tice, of so­cio-eco­nomic in­clu­sion, and of demo­cratic par­tic­i­pa­tion are kept high on the agenda of our re­spec­tive coun­tries, and across our fam­ily of na­tions.”

“We must ad­mit that un­for­tu­nately, many of our na­tions are cur­rently fac­ing so­cial and po­lit­i­cal ten­sions, and un­cer­tain­ties.

“We must be united to­gether, to em­brace our so­cial, as well as our eco­nomic re­al­i­ties,” she said, as we can­not be afraid to tackle is­sues such as poverty and so­cial ex­clu­sion. She also noted the is­sues which Europe faces to­day in­clud­ing: eco­nomic glob­al­i­sa­tion; pro­cesses of mi­gra­tion; so­cial un­cer­tain­ties; the threat of transna­tional crime; and the pro­mo­tion of global peace and se­cu­rity. To tackle such is­sues we must work as “one hu­man fam­ily”, she said.

The President em­pha­sised the im­me­di­ate ac­tion needed to tackle the ef­fects of cli­mate change, with a holis­tic and united ap­proach.

The President said that, “we must act now to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions across our na­tions” to en­sure a low car­bon en­ergy fu­ture, for all. “We must learn from the good prac­tices of one an­other, and share our knowl­edge, in pur­suit of one com­mon goal, for a bet­ter world. We must work to­gether to find in­no­va­tive ways for our na­tions to pro­duce, and to use, clean and re­new­able en­ergy,” she said.

“On con­clud­ing, let me once again quote yes­ter­day’s State of the Union ad­dress, de­liv­ered by the President of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, who said, and I quote: ‘Now is the time to build a more united, stronger and more demo­cratic Europe for 2025’.”

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