“Lack of surveillance in the Mediterranean resulting in thriving of criminal business networks”– Carmelo Abela

Numru ta' Referenza:  , Data ta' l-Istqarrija : Ġun 25, 2019

Migration is at the top of European Citizens’ concerns and must also remain at the top of our political agenda. This was stated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela during the closing address of the first joint training programme organised between the International Institute for Justice and The Rule of Law (IIJ) and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) for international professionals addressing Mediterranean Security and Rule of Law.

Minister Abela noted that lately a surge in the number of crossings in the Mediterranean sea is being noticed and therefore an increase in human smuggling and trafficking activities. “We remain concerned about the lack of predictability that prevails regarding what happens before and after disembarkation. The mechanism we have been resorting to, regrettably remains an ad-hoc-one. Being an EU-wide-but also a global-challenge, it is only through solidarity, a concerted effort and responsibility sharing by all stakeholders that the issue can be effectively addressed” – said the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion.

Minister Abela also spoke about security challenges in the Mediterranean including the situations in Libya, Syria and the Middle East. He made reference to the lack of surveillance in the Mediterranean and the thriving of criminal business networks involved in the smuggling and trafficking of persons and commodities. He noted that due to the decrease in surveillance by the EU’s Operation Sophia, especially in the Central Mediterranean region, smugglers and traffickers are becoming even more daring.

Hon. Abela made remarks on the global challenge of terrorism. He stated that it is only through close cooperation between governments and law enforcement authorities of different countries will the struggle against terrorism be properly fought. He said that countering terrorism and violence is possibly one of the biggest challenges that Governments and countries are facing at present.

30 professionals from different countries including Malta completed this programme successfully. Topics covered included; the challenge of migration in the Mediterranean, human security in the Mediterranean region, global terrorism threat environment, countering violent extremism and building resilient communities.  This week IIJ celebrated its first 5 years based in Malta and places particular focus on countries seeking to develop rule of law-based approaches to addressing security challenges. MEDAC is entering its 30th year and has trained over 700 diplomats, several of whom are now decision-makers in their respective countries. Malta is proud to host and to offer all its support to these Institutes in carrying out their work.