THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AND EUROPEAN AFFAIRS Minister Bartolo calls for comprehensive actions to tackle economic recovery and climate challenges

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries of the European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) met virtually in an informal Ministerial Meeting on 14 December 2020. Both sides expressed solidarity and underlined the high importance attached by the countries of both regions to their long-standing partnership, based on common interests and shared values such as the respect for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, democracy, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.

In a pre-recorded message, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo highlighted the challenges caused by COVID 19. He said that the biggest lesson we are learning from this global pandemic is that we are in this together, and we have to emerge from this together. While highlighting the challenges caused by climate change, Minister Bartolo stressed that economic recovery must be turned into an opportunity to build back better while restoring growth, creating jobs and overcoming environmental and climate challenges in the longer term.

He explained that throughout the years Malta developed a water management framework aimed at ensuring that national water demand is addressed in an economically and environmentally feasible manner. Malta is currently developing a tool kit for integrated water resource management for islands, and is willing to engage with interested parties with a view to offer smart solutions to optimise water supply systems and increase resilience to climate change.

The Minister also highlighted the ocean’s role in mitigating climate change, as well as the potential for an ocean-based economy to deliver a significant portion of emissions reduction. Through the Commonwealth Blue Charter, Malta is working hard with its Caribbean counterparts to secure a healthier ocean. Minister Bartolo concluded his intervention by stating that the economic recovery and the climate crisis need to be managed and addressed coherently if we want to if we are to prevent the situation getting much worse in the future.

This meeting was hosted in Berlin by the Foreign Minister of Germany, Heiko Maas, for the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, and chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles. A Joint Communiqué was adopted at the end of the meeting.

Source: Office of the Prime Minister