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PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: President announces conference for national unity

The Office of the President is organising a Conference for National Unity with the direct involvement of the public with a view to initiating a mature discussion on this subject.

Details of the conference, to be held on Saturday, 27th February 2021 at 9.30 am at the Verdala Palace, were given by President of Malta George Vella during a press conference at San Anton Palace. He remarked that, through this initiative, he will continue to fulfil what he promised on the day of his swearing-in as Head of State: to give absolute importance and work hard, to strengthen national unity. At that time, he had pointed out that this unity does not come about by merely wishing for it, but that we have to work hard to achieve it.

While making clear his desire to keep this conference away from partisan politics, the President said that he is glad to hear political figures speak out in favour of unity, as people were being reminded, albeit passively, of the importance of this concept. However, this is not enough. He spoke of the need for a broad discussion that listens to what the people are really feeling, giving space to the citizens and to an analysis by those who are detached from the political dimension, which sometimes stifles or extinguishes a change of thoughts of a much broader nature. He remarked that the COVID-19 pandemic served as a pause for reflection on where we are as a country and as a people, while creating a certain unity among us. However, it is important that we do not forget everything when returning to normal.

The President announced that, for this conference, he has found the cooperation of personalities who were in touch with the various walks of life and who were as determined as himself to make sure that this initiative bears fruit. These are Prof. Carmen Sammut, Prof. Simone Borg, Prof. Andrew Azzopardi, Perit David Xuereb, Mr Mario Fava, Mr Reno Bugeja, and Mr Aleks Farrugia.

Those who would like to reserve a place at the Verdala Palace can do so by sending their details to Places are limited due to the restrictions in place to control the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for participation to be open to as many people as possible, the conference will also be broadcast live on the President’s Facebook page, with the public having the opportunity to share their views online.