Prime Minister: It is our duty to uphold freedom of speech, ensure people are free from fear

Prime Minister launches Global Council for Tolerance and Peace in Malta, emphasises government’s role in ensuring human rights are protected

Malta has been chosen as the new headquarters for the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace
Malta has been chosen as the new headquarters for the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace

The recent brutal murder of journalist Daphne Caruana has shown us that even Malta was not immune to having the freedoms of its people threatened, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today, and it was the government's duty to uphold such freedoms, including freedom of speech.

Speaking at the launch of the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace (GCTP), at the Mediterranean Conference Centre this morning, the Prime Minister said that he was thrilled that Malta had been chosen as the new headquarters of the Council.

“We are here today because we live in a time when we can no longer take peace for granted,” the Prime Minister said, “there is a need to address the unrest that has filtered across the globe, and also a need to address people’s concerns about this.”

He said it was the government’s role to stave off conflict and ensure stability, and that instability in any nation affects trade and productivity negatively.

“It is my duty to protect Maltese citizens, not only from conflict, but to ensure our human rights are protected,” he said.

The GCTP’s mission was in line with Malta’s foreign policy objectives, he explained, adding that as a neutral country our island had always been a promoter of peace across all nations

Moreover, he said that Malta had been chosen as the Coucil’s new seat in recognition of its policy objectives.

“Malta believes different cultures can coexist and that diversity enriches us. What we have in common – our humanity – should be what unites us,” the Prime Minister maintained.

Malta would do well to ensure the present and next generation internalise the true values of our nation, that is peace, equality and tolerance towards different cultures and backgrounds, he added, saying that there was no space in our democracy for hate speech and hate crimes.

The government of Malta could ensure that its citizens could realise their full potential, free from fear and any oppression, he said in his closing remarks, maintaining that Malta had an open door for all those wishing to promote peace.

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