PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT : “I believe that a nation’s resilience is created and developed by living up to the aspirations of its young people”

President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, yesterday delivered the opening speech of a public lecture given by Professor Susan Hirsch, entitled No Justice, No Peace: Can Protest Save us in These Times?, organised by the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, at San Anton Palace.

The lecture focused on the power of protest, with the aim to encourage peaceful and sustainable change within society. President Coleiro Preca said that as the world faces unprecedented social and political changes, it has never been more essential to encourage and mobilise active citizenship.

The President spoke about her experiences with young people, which have made her much more aware of the need they feel, to have safe opportunities and spaces, since young people speak to her about their desire to discuss pressing issues that are relevant to their lives.

The creation of safe spaces for children and young people has been central to the ethos of my Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society and the raison d’A�tre of my Presidency, The President stated.

She said that she believes that a nation is stronger when it encourages its young people to become activists, as this enhances democratic participation, whilst adding that such provision of safe spaces for young people should be an ongoing structured process in a democratic society.

I believe that a nation’s resilience is created and developed by living up to the aspirations of its young people. When a nation is not listening to its young people, and its citizens, due to the lack of structured processes of democratic participation, the protests occur, the President said.

Lastly, President Coleiro Preca said that structured democratic participation is the antidote of tensions and conflicts.

Professor Susan Hirsch is a lecturer and researcher from the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution of George Mason University, and a Fulbright Scholar at the Faculty of Laws within the University of Malta.

Source: Government of Malta