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JOINT NGO reaction to comments made by the Guardian of Future Generations





The undersigned non-governmental organisations strongly condemn the racist comments by Mr. Maurice Mizzi, nominated as Guardian of Future Generations by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. According to Government’s mission statement, Mr. Mizzi’s role is to “endeavour to facilitate closer collaboration between all stakeholders in the pursuit of the right balance between socio-economic development and environmental stewardship in the Maltese Islands”. Finding a balance between socio-economic development and environmental stewardship is achievable by fostering inclusion, and certainly not by condemning difference, or singling out any particular religious belief. Mr. Mizzi seems to forget the responsibility that comes with his role and the essential point that the most important factor to achieve development and guarantee future generations is peace. We, the undersigned, firmly believe that peace relies wholly on acceptance and inclusion; this means that people are entitled to have their own religious beliefs, or no religious beliefs at all. Singling out one religious belief as impeding development is untrue. It foments hate, something we can ill afford to increase in our small country because it only leads to violence, death and destruction, as very recent incidents in Malta have shown. We remind Mr. Mizzi that migrants are generally fleeing from war, socio-political persecution and economic hardship, often induced by interests beyond their countries’ borders. Mr. Mizzi’s declaration contradicts the Prime Minister’s statement about the need for more workers, irrespective of religion, origin or colour. Finally we remind Mr. Mizzi that it is his role to ensure that no person’s work is exploited in the name of socio-economic development, and protecting our environment from over-exploitation is part of his job. The undersigned do not tolerate any form of racist discourse. There can be no space for this kind of ideology or language in our country. In the light of such racist declarations, we demand his immediate resignation or removal by the Prime Minister as his position is no longer tenable. This statement is endorsed by: aditus foundation African Media Association Allied Rainbow Communities Cross Culture International Foundation Department of Gender Studies (University of Malta) Eritrean Refugees community Association in Malta Fondazzjoni Sebħ Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants Integra Foundation International Association for Refugees JRS Malta KOPIN Malta Emigrants Commission Moviment Graffitti People for Change Foundation Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta Repubblika Richmond Foundation Solidarity with Migrants Group SOS Malta Spark15 Sudanese Migrants Association The Critical Institute Troupe 18:45 Dr. Elena Tanti Burlo Dr. Colin Calleja Ms. Louise Chircop Professor Peter Mayo Professor Duncan Paul Mercieca Dr. Josephine Milton Ms. Jacqueline Zammit