I have to say “Warm congratulations to the Government of Malta. They’ve been the best in the whole of Europe. They’ve really protected the people of Malta. They galvanised the energy that is quintessentially Maltese, and kept people safe. To see that Malta has restricted the number of cases and deaths to such a low amount, is a miracle.
With these words, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary General started her contribution during this week’s Bay Chats with Drew and Noel.
Baroness Scotland said that throughout the pandemic, The Commonwealth has been providing a platform for member states to pool their knowledge and to pool their information on how to deal with the COVID-19 situation.
“It was a shock to every country. No one was ready for this disaster. The 54 countries of the Commonwealth, 2.5 billion people, 60% of who are under the age of 30, have a lot of information and genius. None of us could do this on our own. So we immediately created a Coronavirus Response Centre where we would pool all the information that we had – what worked and what didn’t work,” the Secretary General said.
Baroness Scotland stated that Malta has been extremely important to our Commonwealth – Malta had two CHOGM Meetings and Malta was the last chair in office before the United Kingdom.
Malta’s Latest CHOGM organised in 2015 | Copyright:AFP
“Malta has been a very active member of our Commonwealth.”
The Secretary General said that the Commonwealth and the Government of Malta have set up a new voluntary desk – in order to serve as a contact point, between European and Commonwealth Countries – on sharing best practices, creating partnerships and promoting opportunities.
“But we are also being in close contact in relation to the Health Ministers. All of our Health Ministers came together in the margins of the WHO because we understood that there is an issue, in particular for small states, getting PPE, getting the right medicine – and obviously there is an issue of us needing a vaccine. And the Commonwealth Health Ministers had last year suggested to us, that we needed a database to help with procurement – and the Commonwealth is looking at how to put this in place, in the coming days.
Baroness Scotland stated once again that, Malta’s contribution, particularly as a small state, has very much meant that Malta has been a beacon
“Everyone is so impressed by what Malta has done. So that beacon is important. Many people in fact say, ‘If the Maltese can do it, we can do it too’. And this is why the sharing of information about what works and what does not work is absolutely important. Many people are looking at Malta, not only celebrating her, but also copying her too.”
“Malta’s Package and how Malta is using this opportunity has been extremely important”
On the endeavours of the Commonwealth to help economies, Baroness Scotland spoke of the Commonwealth Advantage – which is the advantage that Commonwealth Countries have when working together, “because we have the same laws, the same institutions and the same Government structures, and as a result of this we trade 20% more.
“Last year we managed to have inter-Commonwealth Trade of 700 billion dollars. We want to increase that trade, and we are looking at how we are going to do this, because what we know is that the consequence of this pandemic, is going to have an enormous financial impact. We are looking at how we can come together, how we can strengthen our Small and Medium Enterprises, with tax-reliefs that we need to have in place.”
Malta’s package, and the way in which Malta is using this opportunity, has been extremely important, the Secretary General said whilst stating that “we need to work together, to take Advantage of the Green, the Blue and the Tech Economy.”
This is the first part in a series of articles relating to the latest episode of Bay Chats with The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary General of Commonwealth.
You may watch the full interview below:
On this week's #BayChatsCommonwealth Secretary General praises Malta and its COVID-19 endeavours and thanks Malta for its contribution to the Commonwealth during these challenging times.Commonwealth of Nations | Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General | saħħa | Chris Fearne
Publiée par 89.7 Bay sur Vendredi 29 mai 2020