Malta calls for more visibility for the Mediterranean region within the OSCE

Numru ta' Referenza:  , Data ta' l-Istqarrija : Diċ 10, 2019
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela urged the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to do more to give the Mediterranean region its deserved visibility. Addressing the organisation’s annual Ministerial Council Meeting in the Slovak capital, Bratislava on Thursday, he referred to the commitment taken by the ministers in last year’s meeting, in Milan, to clearly reflect the Mediterranean issues in the work of the OSCE, and to intensify practical co-operation with the Mediterranean Partners.

“We need to move from statements to establishing tangible co-operation with our Mediterranean partners”, said Minister Abela. He recalled that last June, Malta – together with the Albanian Chair for the OSCE’s Mediterranean Contact Group – hosted in Valletta an OSCE Ambassadorial Retreat to discuss and agree on a number of practical, doable measures of collaboration. Among the various topics of discussion, the retreat touched upon the setting up of appropriate structures within the OSCE to ensure more focus on the Mediterranean. The minister asserted that it would benefit the entire OSCE region to focus its discussions on security whilst building stronger people-to-people relations among the different entities and regional organisations in the Mediterranean. In this, the role of youth and women in achieving peace and security should not be overlooked. Furthermore, more synergy in the efforts of regional organisations and civil society needs to be invested for an enabling environment that ensures full participation of these groups.

Minister Abela stressed the OSCE’s continued relevance in maintaining a secure region. “Last Monday, we commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Malta Summit of 1989 – a summit which marked the end of the Cold War, promising the beginning of a more peaceful, co-operative and bright future”, he said. “In 1989, the Conference on Security and Co-Operation in Europe – as the OSCE was formerly known – was vital not only in upholding the security momentum but also in focusing on responding to new challenges, leading up to the establishment of the OSCE as a permanent institution during the Paris Summit in 1990. Thirty years later, the OSCE remains relevant in maintaining a secure pan-European region.”

Minister Abela referred to the protracted conflicts within the OSCE region. “Emerging transnational threats such as terrorism, extremism, cybercrime, and human trafficking are on the rise, both in frequency and in the methods used to spread harm and disruption across multitude of states, not to mention other threats to security, such as climate change. These challenges can be overcome if we, at the political level, commit ourselves to working towards innovative and practical solutions.”

At the Ministerial Council Meeting, Malta joined the majority of the OSCE’s Participating States in supporting the ‘Bratislava Appeal’, a declaration reaffirming and recommitting to the fundamentals of the Organisation while appealing for a more cooperative, dialogue-based approach – including from the highest levels – in paving the way forward. The appeal calls for increased flexibility and willingness to compromise in order to broaden and strengthen the OSCE’s interactive dialogue.

The OSCE’s Ministerial Council is the central decision-making and governing body of the OSCE. The meeting, held annually, provides the foreign ministers of the 57 OSCE participating states an opportunity to review and assess the organisation’s activities and strengthen the dialogue on security issues in the OSCE area. Thanking the current Slovak Chairmanship for the works it has carried out during its tenure, the minister assured incoming Chair-in-Office Albania of Malta’s firm support.

At the OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting, Minister Abela was accompanied by Malta’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Ambassador Natasha Meli-Daudey.


Minister Carmelo Abela addressing the 26th Ministerial Council Meeting in Bratislava


Family photo