It is a great honour for me to welcome the Former-President of Malta, Her Excellency Mrs Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, as the Guest Speaker of this second FICAC Presidential Summit.
The globe is facing a difficult time with pandemics, wars, enormous refugee issues, climate change, uncontrolled digital and virtual technologic transformations! All are changing our daily life.
Health care system, difficulty to access education physically, the emergence of digital commercial imperative, travel barriers and challenges. all are occurring new business models and new industries These all are signs of changing paradigms. So what can we do in this world for tomorrow?
As a global NGO with the ECOSOC Consultative special status of the UN, FICAC’s main objective is to coordinate Honorary Consuls’ effectiveness, duties and diplomatic status by sharing experiences that bring together Consular Associations and Corps worldwide.
Although the Vienna Convention on Consular relations-1963 gave the regulation on Honorary Consuls’ status, their different perceived status and enforced differently in each country caused chaos.
More than 20.000 honorary Consuls in the world represent an ideal extensive potential network without a financial burden on the states.
That’s why FICAC is trying to bring up honorary consuls’ responsibilities, statutes, and rights: they should be the same standard also in practice by all countries to support a resilient and prosperous world.
We strive to make this network the most efficient and use it to provide access to education by scholarships program for young people who do not have the opportunity. For this purpose, we are signing agreements with Universities worldwide.
I believe that this scholarships mobilization, which we would like to start under your distinguished auspices, will contribute significantly to the problem that many fragile countries in the world cannot cope with economically.
Another effort is gender equality which is number 5 of the UN’s Global Goals. The women in the Diplomacy committee is working non-stop on this issue. They are preparing preliminary projects to be developed by the leaders and academicians for presenting to the UN.
We can merge the Gender equality and Scholarships projects for hope on more desperate children and fragile countries.
A truth of our age that is very scary, a vast amount of actual data about us is being kept, and we do not know what purpose is used for and by whom?
The information is commercially for advertising, for marketing and profitable pursuits. Our data is also being used to shape and manipulate our perceptions without realizing it.
For this reason, we should develop a new roadmap for digital cooperation to find a way forward for honorary consuls.
We should have to get attention from all the UN member states to review honorary consuls’ rights and duties in the legislation of modern diplomacy and the use of digital technologies.
We need a safe, equitable and open digital future that does not infringe on privacy and dignity for honorary consuls.
Your Excellency, as a Lady President, you have persuasive authority in your country and all EU countries. Also, I know that one of your objectives is the tourism sector. I remember we met in Istanbul at the tourism summit for some projects with my Jamaican minister Honorable Bartlett. We know you have a lot of experiences: today, we will be happy for sharing with us some of them for the future of diplomatic life.