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MALTA DIARY Three remarkable international achievements in the space of a few months




Some 55 years ago had one mentioned internationally that one was Maltese from Malta it was guaranteed that 75% of the world would have replied “Oh yes, and what is Malta and where is Malta?”

The knowing 25% would have been mostly British and those around the Mediterranean basin such as Sicily and Italy, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

Matters began to change in the early 1970s when Dominic Mintoff was elected as Malta’s Prime Minister. He astounded the western world by becoming the first west European Leader to visit China, causing a stir and acquiring respect and financial help (mostly industrial) from the Chinese.

“Who is this guy?” the world asked.


Since then, there was no looking back. Later Malta terminated the British Government presence in Malta having earlier joined the United Nations and the majority of international fora and pioneering the Law of the Seas. Later still, Malta joined the European Union and its presence on the international scene was assured.

So far this year there have been three remarkable developments that have honoured the country on the international scale in a big way.

By far, the greatest achievement came in early June when Malta was appointed as a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council for a period of two years, starting from next year, having secured 97% of the 190 votes of UN Member Countries, that is, 185 votes, an overwhelming vote of confidence for such a small country.


The UN Security Council is one of the most prestigious with a highly important role in world peace. Malta now joins nine other Non-Permanent Members together with the five Permanent Members, these being the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China.

In mid-June Malta achieved another remarkable acknowledgement when The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) after a secret vote formally announced that Malta has now been removed from the damning Grey List after having been placed there a year ago.

This was an economically damaging blow classifying Malta as being open to financial criminality, money-laundering, aiding terrorist funds and corrupt institutions. It was an enormous deterrent for international foreign countries to invest in the Maltese Islands.


In addition  there was high condemnation over various public appointments, including that of the Police Commissioner.

The Government took immediate steps to begin implementing all the FATF recommendations and a thorough reform of all financial institutions.

The vote was taken during an FATF Plenary Session in Berlin that expressed full confidence in the compliant reforms.


Countries remaining on the Grey List include Gibraltar, Pakistan, Myanmar, Jamaica, Haiti, Panama, South Sudan and Syria.

Prime Minister Robert Abela said Malta will remain committed to continuing reforms while the country’s removal from the Grey List was overwhelmingly complemented by Malta’s financial sector and the Opposition Nationalist Party. 

Preceding both of these was a further positive achievement when Maltese MEP Robert Metsola was voted as President of the European Parliament to 2024 – remarkable indeed as coming from the smallest of all EU Member Countries. She obtained 458 of the 690 votes cast.


Although previously harshly criticised by the Labour Government because of her continual damaging allegations against the country in the EU Parliament as she is a PN Opposition MEP, the Government expressed patriotic satisfaction at this national achievement.

Since then, Ms Metsola has tempered her intrusions into Maltese internal affairs and is carrying out her role with honour, particularly during these turbulent times involving Russia and Ukraine. 

Born in 1979, Roberta Metsola (who is married with four children) showed an early active interest in politics. In 2013 she was elected as one of Malta’s representative MPs in the EU Parliament, representing the Opposition Nationalist Party. In November 2020 she was elected as First Vice President of the EuroParliament and on the demise of Euro Parliament President Sassoli became Acting President before being confirmed to the full Presidency, the youngest EP President ever elected.


These three events during the first half of this year clearly underline the acknowledgement and respect that Malta has achieved in international politics – taking into account it is one of the world’s smallest countries!



E/mail – salina46af@gmail.com


Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jerome.fenech


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“His eyes are larger than his stomach”


Said of a person who voraciously devours every foodstuff his eyes set sight on!

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