Minister for Foreign Affairs highlights Maltas drive to tackle religious intolerance

first_img“Religious intolerance has to be challenged through dialogue and debate, not the closing of doors to the outsider or the foreigner”— this was stated by Minister for Foreign Affairs Carmelo Abela while participating in the second Annual Ministerial Meeting to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington DC organised by the US Department of State.During his intervention, the minister insisted on Malta’s drive to tackle intolerance towards certain religions and beliefs.“Malta is committed to protecting the human rights of all people, in particular members of minority groups and individuals that find themselves vulnerable situations. This commitment is a result of several years of grappling with large numbers of asylum seekers or refugees arriving to our shores. Malta is still dealing with this challenge”, stated Minister Abela.He discussed how at the national level, Malta is working on setting up a national human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles. He explained how, to this end, two initiatives have been launched which are the Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Equality Act. As he noted, the former would be able to ensure equality and non-discrimination on several grounds in all spheres of life, while the latter is intended to address multiple discrimination and structural discrimination.Minister Abela recalled how national legislation combatting incitement to racial hatred and other forms of hate speech has also been further improved to include the protection of foreign nationals or any other group from such crimes. Government had been taking measures to strengthen a culture of inclusion, diversity and non-discrimination.He referred to the recent tragic events in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and emphasised that this should remind us that a global, collective response is needed. He appealed to the international community to strengthen its efforts to tackle the global challenges of violent extremism and hatred as well as to combat terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations.In this light, Minister Abela emphasised that countries must stay united and determined in their intent, as the amount of recent tragic events related to an increase in anti-Semitism, fundamentalism, extremism and additional hate crimes based on religious motives are on the rise.“We believe that freedom of religion or belief should not be allowed to be affected by politics and fluctuating social attitudes. It is part of the role of every state to ensure this does not happen”, added Minister Abela. He concluded on the note that Malta will continue to promote freedom of religion or belief for all persons and strongly oppose religious discrimination, persecution and violence.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img

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