Minister Carmelo Abela addresses the 36th Session of the Francophonie Ministerial Conference

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Oct 31, 2019

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela attended the 36th Ministerial Conference of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), held in the Principality of Monaco from 30 to 31 October 2019.  This is the first OIF Ministerial Conference attended by Malta since obtaining Observer Status during the 17th OIF Summit held in Yerevan in 2018.

The overall theme of the Ministerial Conference was ‘Reconciling Humanity and the Planet: Prospects within the French-Speaking World as the OIF Turns 50’, during which Ministers exchanged views on the Organisation’s historic and future active role in safeguarding the environment.

In his address to the Ministerial Conference, Minister Abela remarked that this theme is particularly close to heart for Malta, citing its long-standing commitment “towards the harmonization of our planet and humankind”.  The Minister stated that the world is at a critical moment where inaction on Climate Change will have adverse repercussions in the future. Climate Change is to be considered as the greatest challenge humankind is facing. The international community needs to move from words to action and embrace urgent measures to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In recalling Malta’s active role as an Observer State of the OIF, Minister Abela referred to the ongoing collaboration between TV5 Monde and PBS, and Malta’s willingness to collaborate further with other OIF associated organisations, namely the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, the Association Internationale des Maires Francophones (AIMF), the Université Senghor, and the Assemblée Parlamentaire de la Francophonie.

The Minister also recalled the commemorations of the first International Francophone Day held in Malta in March 2019, and looked forward to the celebrations of the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the OIF in 2020.   Minister Abela concluded by reiterating Malta’s commitment to unity and solidarity as the best approach in maintaining peace and understanding around the world.  These values further strengthened Malta’s resolve to further its relations with the OIF and the promotion of the French language in Malta.

On the margins of the Ministerial Conference, Minister Abela also held a bilateral meeting with His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates, during which discussions focused on bilateral relations.