Malta’s Constitution defines Malta as a “neutral state actively pursuing peace, security and social progress among all nations by adhering to a policy of non-alignment and refusing to participate in any military alliance.” This neutrality clause was introduced in 1987. Since then, the geopolitical landscape has shifted dramatically with the war in Ukraine being just the latest in a series of violent shocks and conflicts which, according to Pope Francis, are part of what he calls a third world war “fought in piecemeal fashion”.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the papal encyclical Pacem in Terris, on the 25th of April at 19:00 at the Archbishop’s Curia, the Justice & Peace Commission organized an expert-panel discussion on how Malta’s neutrality can serve the cause of peace.
This event saw the participation of Prof Anna Khakee (International Relations), Fr Carlo Calleja (Moral Theology), Prof Edward Warrington (Public Policy), Mr Ranier Fsadni (Political Anthropology) and Ambassador Vanessa Frazier (Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations). Coming from different backgrounds, the panellists contributed with different perspectives to the debate around the ways in which active neutrality was applied in the past and how it can be applied nowadays. Questions regarding the meaning of neutrality in the face of unprovoked aggression and whether the 1987 neutrality clause needs to be reviewed and redefined within the framework of a wider constitutional reform were also be tackled.