The Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo met with the Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland, emphasising Malta’s leading role as a small state, on Wednesday August 5.
Minister Bartolo claimed that this is highlighted through the numerous initiatives aimed at developing the capacity in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), particularly the setting up of two Malta-based hubs. These are the Small States Centre of Excellence (SSCoE) and also the Commonwealth Centre for Connected Learning (3CL).
Apart from this, he focused on the connection between good governance and rule of law, with the need to ensure that strong structures are in place so that global challenges can be addressed, particularly for small states.
Through the government’s statement, Baroness Scotland “commended Malta’s efforts in strengthening good governance and the rule of law in Malta”.
She also remarked that “sound financial governance” is extremely important when it comes to anti-money laundering (AML), together with cooperation when it comes to getting rid of transnational criminal activity, which has been a concern in recent years.
Minister Bartolo also chose to focus on “the need and importance of capacity-building initiatives” which will act as “key enablers” that help contribute towards developing Small Island Developing States across the Commonwealth in a sustainable manner.
Baroness Scotland responded by highlighting the positive contributions that Malta could make within this regard through its well-developed institutions.
Malta currently hosts the Small States Centre of Excellence, originating from the 2015 Valletta Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Currently, 32 of the 39 small states in the world are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, mainly comprised of former territories of the British Empire.