New structure and guiding principles for Foreign Affairs Ministry

Wednesday, 17 Jul 2013, 17:30

 

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The Minister for Foreign Affairs George Vella published today the Ministry’s guiding principles, the new Ministry structure and an executive summary of the audit report on Malta’s embassies.

Minister Vella said “the guiding principles presented in this document offer complementary and continuity in a number of instances these guiding principles update and enhance the 2006 strategic objectives as well as reveal a deeper and wider perspective on specific issues”.

During the presentation to Ministry officials and media, Minister Vella pointed out that the guiding principles identify seven areas that encompass Malta’s foreign policy priorities : the strengthening of our role within the EU; enhancing and promoting our country’s bilateral relations; contributing effectively towards multilateralism;  reaffirming Malta’s vocation and determination to strengthen peace and security in the Mediterranean; recognising the importance and relevance of the Maltese living abroad; securing a more effective political and economic role for Malta’s representation overseas and the promotion of Maltese culture abroad.

Minister Vella explained that the decision to update the guiding principles was taken to update the strategic objectives in relation to today’s political scenario both in economic and social terms.

In the presentation of the new Ministry structure, the Minister pointed out newly set up Legal Unit, an Assistant Director responsible for Cultural Diplomacy, Strategy and Coordination Unit and Directorate for the Maltese Living Abroad.

Minister Vella also announced that the executive summary of an audit report by independent experts on Malta’s missions abroad could be found online. This report highlights new steps that must be taken to ensure more value from our embassies. “I am glad to note that some of the proposed steps are already being implemented such as the training to Diplomats who will be taking their posts in the coming weeks” said the Minister referring to courses being given to diplomats by Malta Enterprise to have a sound business background as they take their new positions.

The Minister said that it is not the intention of the Maltese government to close embassies and at present there is no such discussion. On the contrary Malta is already committed to open a new embassy in Qatar and two new Consulates in Misurata and Brasil. Appointing Honorary Consuls where embassies cannot be opened is an idea this government is mulling since Malta has not enough finance to open a large number of embassies said the Minister.

One other country which the Minister singled-out is Canada as a country where this government would like to strengthen diplomatic ties. 

The report suggests roving Ambassadors and Minister Vella said the government has taken this suggestion and will be appointing Special Envoys according to the needs of the country.

The executive summary can be found on the Ministry’s website.

 

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