Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela calls for genuine, effective dialogue based on political will and trust within the OSCE

Numru ta' Referenza:  , Data ta' l-Istqarrija : Lul 10, 2019

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela told an Informal Ministerial Gathering of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Slovakia that, in order to remain relevant in a rapidly changing security landscape in Europe and beyond, the OSCE’s participating States must engage in a genuine and effective dialogue based on political will and trust. The OSCE must remain effective for its participating States to be able to fulfil their peoples’ aspirations of living in peace, security, and democracy—three of the organisation’s main founding principles.

The high-level meeting, organised by the Slovak Chair-in-Office of the OSCE, convened on Tuesday, 9th July 2019 in the High Tatras, under the theme From past action to future prevention: the OSCE´s niche in fostering stability in Europe and beyond. The plenary discussion, which brought together Ministers of Foreign Affairs and other high-level representatives of the OSCE’s 57 participating States, was hosted and moderated by Slovakia’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Miroslav Lajčák.

Minister Carmelo Abela referred to the OSCE’s multifaceted approach to security, noting that this can be useful in addressing transnational challenges faced by the international community such as protracted conflict, climate change, radicalism, and cyber threats. This, he said, should be undertaken with the involvement of civil society and of the younger generation. He also emphasised the importance of the OSCE giving the necessary attention to all of the areas in its region.

Stressing that multilateral cooperation remains the best tool to identify innovative solutions in these challenging times, Minister Abela remarked that the OSCE’s creation of stronger synergies with other organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, and the Council of Europe would yield much better results than if each organisation operates in its individual silo.

On the margins of the Informal Ministerial Gathering, Minister Abela met with Thomas Greminger, the OSCE’s Secretary-General. They discussed the outcome of the OSCE Ambassadorial Retreat that was  held in Malta on 7th and 8th June 2019, an event that proved an ideal formation to take stock of the OSCE’s Mediterranean Partnership while commemorating the 25th anniversary of the organisation’s Mediterranean Contact Group. Minister Abela re-iterated Malta’s core belief that there can be no security in Europe unless there is also security in the Mediterranean.

Other meeting were held in a stop-over in Vienna en route to Slovakia. An encounter with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Principality of Andorra, Maria Ubach Font, focused on issues of bilateral and regional interest. Minister Abela welcomed the continued interest shown by Andorra in strengthening and deepening its relations with the EU. Both countries agreed on strengthening reciprocal support as small European States actively participating in international fora, such as the UN, also highlighting the need to encourage women’s participation in decision-making roles, especially in the political sphere.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also exchanged views with Harlem Désir, the OSCE’s Representative on Freedom of the Media, on Malta’s continual committment to safeguard the right to freedom of expression and on its readiness to continue engaging with his Office in supporting the strengthening of the protection of journalists as well as the safeguarding of freedom of expression and of the media.

Another meeting was held with Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna. Ways were explored on how to further strengthen Malta’s already active participation in UNODC. Minister Abela expressed Malta’s optimism that it will soon recive the endorsement of the Blue Heart Campaign—UNODC’s global awareness-raising initiative to fight human trafficking and its impact on society—for its recent policy reforms in this field.

In Slovakia and Vienna, Minister Abela wa accompanied by Natasha Meli-Daudey, Malta’s Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the OSCE.


Family photo


Minister Carmelo Abela at the plenary session of the OSCE Informal Ministerial Gathering


Minister Carmelo Abela with OSCE Secretary-General, Thomas Greminger


Minister Carmelo Abela with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Principality of Andorra, Maria Ubach Font