Minister Abela discusses Malta’s African footprint with Tony Blair in Brussels

(source: Unsplash/Luca Zanon)

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Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela met former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair — who is today the executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change — in Brussels to discuss how Malta could increase its development footprint in Africa, through new niches of cooperation, which can result in a multiplier effect, according to a press statement issued by the government’s Department of Information (DOI).

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the European Development Days (EDD). The EDD is Europe’s leading forum on development and has been held every year since 2006. This event is organised by the European Commission and brings the development community together to share ideas. Moreover, it experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, as the DOI press statement says.

This year’s theme was “Addressing inequalities: Building a world which leaves no one behind”. It was chosen especially in view of the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum, during which the UN will take stock of the deliverance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030.

Malta’s presence at the EDD highlighted the country’s longstanding commitment to development and the implementation of the SDGs, the government press release insists. Taking the floor at a discussion under the theme “In search of equality: Migration, forced displacement, and the SDGs”, Minister Carmelo Abela stressed the need for a comprehensive regional and global approach to migration, a balanced narrative on the phenomenon, and the direct involvement of the youth to achieve lasting solutions.