PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: Through opportunities such as these, we are putting into action the commitment we feel, towards our children, to create a peaceful and harmonious society

President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, this morning visited an activity organised by the G?ira Local Council to mark World Children’s Day entitled “Children who play together, can learn to live together.”

President Coleiro Preca said that thanks to events such as the one organised by the G?ira Local Council “we are practising inclusion in every sense” adding that “we are putting into action the mandate of the United Nations’ Convention of the Rights of the Child, to honour the participation of children and to ensure that their best interests are being respected.”

This, she said is why such activities are important, as they break down the artificial barriers that sometimes exist between us, especially because children are often more open, than adults are, to the similarities that bring us together.

The President appealed to those present that we must always respect each other’s dignity.

“We must always foster the power of peace in our lives and in our communities. We must never stop reaching out to hands of friendship, learning from each other and growing together, as one united nation”, the President said.

The fact that this event was attended, and saw the participation of children from all over the world, who have now made Malta their home was described as a strength by the President, who said that it is a source of richness which adds something new to the social fabric of our nation.

President Coleiro Preca said that children are the inheritors of this richness – richness which they will use when they shall become the leaders of tomorrow, empowered to promote social wellbeing and to safeguard the vitality of our democracy.

In conclusion, she told all children present that for democracy to succeed in any society, they need to take education seriously, and they need to make the daily choice, to courageously learn about the world and the people we share it with.

“The greatest safeguard of our freedoms is this openness to education, whether through informal activities such as sports and culture, or in our schools and institutions. Democracies are built by open societies, in which knowledge and experiences of life are received and shared. Where there is sharing, there is connection. Where there is connection, there is friendship,” the President said.

She thanked the various collaborators who have made these activities possible, including representatives from all across civil society in Malta, and said that she is always encouraged to see the ways that groups and organisations show such commitment, to our young people and their wellbeing.

“When we encourage the activities of civil society and community participation, we are automatically strengthening the roots of our democracy. When we create welcoming spaces to meet with one another, we are putting into practice the fundamental dignity of each individual. This respect for common dignity must always form the basis of our society. When we celebrate our differences, and discover the things we hold in common then we are truly building a shared culture of peace and wellbeing, which shall be of lasting benefit in our Maltese Islands and beyond,” the President said.

Source: Government of Malta.