PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT The President gives a keynote address at the launch of the IIJ-MEDAC Mediterranean Security and Rule of Law Course

President George Vella was invited to give a keynote address at the launch of an academic course designed by the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) yesterday at the University of Malta Valletta Campus.

The President remarked on the continuous state of insecurity in the Mediterranean, and how such threats spill beyond the Mediterranean region. Security is threatened first of all by insecurity in littoral states, and by what he termed “horizontal issues”, which are issues that involve the whole globe but reflect on and involve also the Mediterranean region.

President Vella continued by saying that there are both latent and active causes of instability with a high degree of permeability between them, such that a latent cause could erupt into an active one.

The President also raised the issue of the socio-economic and political situation of the Mediterranean littoral states. On this note, he expressed concern at the deteriorating situation in Libya, which might result in an increased number of refugees fleeing the country. He also noted how, at present, there is little control over migrants entering and leaving this country. The stalemate by the international community in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian issue, as well as prolonged instability in Syria, and the plight of countries like Jordan and Lebanon, were also highlighted.

President Vella also noted how there is no real Mediterranean security arrangement capable of dealing with these issues. He continued by speaking about how these multi-faceted challenges have to be addressed both on a bilateral, and multilateral level.

With regards wider horizontal issues, the President referred to climate change, and how increasing desertification and water insecurity, as well as food insecurity and crop failure, are contributing to migratory flows.

In his concluding remarks, the President mentioned how, despite the challenges above, “the Mediterranean region is the perfect laboratory for cooperation”, and how parliamentary diplomacy could be a very useful diplomatic tool.

Source: Government of Malta