Dear citizens of Malta and Gozo,
While you might live miles away from the Maltese Islands, we are sure that you carry a piece of Malta in your hearts wherever you go.
Regrettably, this is the second consecutive year that we are celebarating Christmas and New Year amid Covid-19 restrictions, albeit in varying ways.
We remain steady in our fight against the pandemic, and have managed to contain the spread through a well-coordinated campaign and vaccination programme.
However, the situation is far from over, with the infection rate worldwide on the increase again. We must be vigilant and not let our guard down. Hence my appeal to all those who still haven’t taken their vaccine, or those who are due to receive the booster – please move forward and be vaccinated.
Vaccination is key to protecting our societies from the disease.
Malta has the highest number of vaccinated people in all of the European Union, and I am pleased that the lives of many Maltese citizens were saved thanks to the vaccine.
The success of our vaccination programme allowed us to return to normality.
Our sense of solidarity has also urged us to donate Covid-19 test kits and vaccines to our neighbouring countries Tunisia and Libya, as well as Rwanda, Ghana and Iran. I am pleased that our efforts were recognised by the World Health Organisation, and we are hailed as the EU’s highest per capita vaccine donor.
And Malta will continue to assist in the global fight against the pandemic, providing support as and when necessary in a spirit of both solidarity and multilateralism, and to avoid disparities between nations.
Indeed, the interdependence between nations became more vocal due to the pandemic, and physical distances were somewhat dissolved, which underlined further the importance of multilateralism.
2021 was indeed a busy year for us.
The Government embarked on a number of projects and initiatives as part of our Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Malta also continued to play its part in the advancement of human rights worldwide, as we continue our excellent track record in striving for a more just and equitable society.
Furthermore, we are planning a carbon neutral future for Malta in order to limit the impact of climate change and prevent irreparable damage.
This target is also one of the five pillars of economic growth and recovery from the pandemic, together with sustainable economic growth, good governance, education and infrastructural improvement.
Malta is looking onwards and upwards to a brighter future – and I want you to be part of it.
All the Maltese communities living abroad have a direct share in the work that Malta carries out on a national and international stage.
You can be catalysts of change to help our ambitions for our country to take shape. The physical distance should not stop us from taking initiatives and exploring new ways in which we can work together.
I invite you all to remain connected with your homeland, not only during this time of the year but throughout the whole year. Let us all cherish our rich traditions, culture and identity, by ensuring that we pass them on to our children.
A word of thanks also goes to the many Maltese missionaries working in different parts of the world to improve the lives of people who are deprived of the essentials. Their dedication is an inspiration to us all.
My wife and I would like to wish you and your families a joyful Christmas, and a new year full of good health, happiness and prosperity.