Malta Debate Forum marks major milestone in the expansion of Young Mediterranean Voices

Numru ta' Referenza:  , Data ta' l-Istqarrija : Lul 08, 2019

The city of Valletta played host from 2nd to 5th July 2019 to the Young Mediterranean Voices’ Debate and Policy Forum. Organised by the Anna Lindh Foundation in partnership with the British Council and the National Youth Agency of Malta, with the support of the European Commission, this was the first forum of its kind bringing together youth-led debate communities from the South Mediterranean with peer networks in the North.

During the three-day Forum, 50 representatives of debate associations in more than twenty countries took part in thematic debates connected to the Global Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2030. The Forum debate was also connected through virtual exchange to debaters in diverse communities across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the Balkans.

Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, underlined in his closing address the importance of the Forum’s youth-led debate as a catalyst “to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and widen its reach on both shores of the Mediterranean”, adding that “this Forum provides us with a unique opportunity to measure the region’s, and the European Union’s performance in respect of the SDGs in the run-up to 2030, when Malta is also expected to assume again the Presidency of the European Council”.

As part of this strategic perspective to 2030, the international partners and Maltese institutions associated to Young Mediterranean Voices are working to put in place a permanent forum which can transform youth debate to youth agency and leadership for the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are honoured to be part of this shared strategy to reaffirm young people at the forefront of our common agenda,” said Minister Abela. “We look forward to building on our deepening partnership in recent years in order to incubate the joint initiatives that have emerged and to support the development of a permanent platform with Young Mediterranean Voices”.

Following the Malta Debate Forum, Young Mediterranean Voices’ work on the Sustainable Development Goals will now move to the local level, with a month-long programme of national debates scheduled for October 2019 across the Mediterranean region.

Speaking at the Forum in Valletta, Paul Walton, Director of Partnerships at the Anna Lindh Foundation and co-founder of Young Mediterranean Voices, underlined: “The Forum has created the blueprint to expand the role of young people on both shores of the Mediterranean in driving our work to achieve the Global Goals of Agenda 2030. Partnership is at the heart of this process and we will follow the lead of young Mediterranean voices in taking us collectively to the next stage of impact and reach”.