PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PROMOTION: Foreign Minister Abela addresses the ‘Our Ocean Wealth’ Summit in Ireland

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, addressed the Our Ocean Wealth Summit held in Cork on 9-10 June 2019.

The theme for this year’s summit was ‘Shared Voices from Small Island Nations’. With a focus on international cooperation, this Summit brought together a unique mix of national experts and policy makers with representatives from island nations. Participants met to discuss the unique challenges faced by island nations, with a view to identify practical ways that island states can work better together, through partnership, to address threats, manage ocean resources and build sustainable blue economies.

In his remarks, Minister Abela highlighted the role the sea has played in the life of the Maltese throughout the centuries, and the contribution of the blue economy to Malta’s wealth today. Noting that climate change is a challenge for ocean economies which no country can deal with alone, he emphasised the importance of multilateralism as the way forward. The Minister said that, in this respect, Foreign Ministers have a key role to play to raise awareness on this matter and maintain the momentum within multilateral fora. This can be done by incorporating elements concerning climate and oceans horizontally across other areas and policies. Malta also has a lot to offer through capacity building opportunities in partnership with small island developing States. Thirty-two small island developing states participated in this summit.

On the margins of the summit, Minister Abela held a meeting with his Irish counterpart, Simon Coveney, Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs. Ministers Abela and Coveney discussed ways how to enhance cooperation between the two countries on EU and global issues.

Minister Abela also held a brief encounter with Ambassador Peter Thomson, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, who was also participating in the summit.

In Cork, the Minister was accompanied by Malta’s Ambassador to Ireland, Leonard Sacco.

Source: Government of Malta