[WATCH] President’s Christmas message: ‘I will keep speaking out against division’

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca says prejudice is still rife in Malta, says country has moral duty and responsibility to safeguard human rights and peace

 

President of the Republic Marie Louise Coleiro Preca has pledged to keep speaking out against division in the country, insisting that citizens have a “moral duty and responsibility” to safeguard human rights, dignity and respect.

Delivering her traditional Christmas message at the San Anton Palace, the President denounced the prejudice that is “still rife” in Malta, arguing that the festive season was the perfect platform for the country to strengthen its resolve in favour of unity and peace.

“I want to promise the Maltese that I will continue speaking to ensure we beat every form of division and to remain united and build a better country for our children,” she said.

“We have to admit that our country is still rife with prejudice against those we don’t consider as a traditional family. Children tell me they are buillied, discarded, even excluded at school and in their communities. I’m talking about children with single parents, from gay and adoptive couples, foster families, those seeking protection, families of prisoners, those with problems of mental health, those living in institutions,” she said.

Coleiro Preca – who during her Republic Day speech delivered a clear indictment of the government’s plan to deport migrants who spent years in Malta and had built social bonds and employment in Malta – underlined that “human rights are there for everyone.”

In an impassioned plea, the President called on the Maltese to remain united in favour of peace and unity.

“Lasting peace is not only achieved by ensuring that there is no violence. Rather, we must act in a positive and pro-active way to create opportunities to speak to each other, to build stronger relations between us, strengthen our democratic participation, and develop a culture of respect towards each other.”

 “Human rights ensure a sense of dignity among us … Adults have a responsibility to set an example to their children, and a failure to do so would be harmful to children,” Coleiro Preca said.

The President also urged the Maltese to use Malta’s upcoming president of the EU council as a platform to show unity, peace and respect.

"Let's work together to better our country, where dialogue replaces division, where friendship replaces hatred, where respect always wins over conflict," the President said. 

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