New York

10 April 2013

Secretary-General's message to viewing of the Exhibition: Temple and Tomb, Prehistoric Malta, 3600-2500 BCE [delivered by Ms. Elizabeth Spehar, Director, Europe Division, United Nations Department of Political Affairs]

It is a pleasure to greet all those who have gathered for this special viewing of a remarkable exhibition.  I thank the Maltese Government and people, as well as my good friend Ambassador Christopher Grima, Permanent Representative of Malta to the
United Nations, for their strong and enduring support.

Malta may not be as large as other countries in terms of population or square mileage, but the country has a dynamic presence at the United Nations.  Malta played a leading role in the adoption of the landmark Law of the Sea Convention, and continues to be in the forefront on matters involving maritime trade, law and environmental protection.  Malta’s long-standing commitment to action on climate change is also known across the world.  On these and other global and regional challenges, Malta is a good friend of the United Nations.

I had the pleasure of visiting the country four years ago this month.  I experienced the vibrancy of a country that has long been a crossroads of commerce and culture.  I also saw some of the natural and artistic riches that make Malta such an attractive destination for tourists.  It was a fascinating visit, and I look forward to having those memories refreshed when I have a chance to see the “Temple and Tomb” exhibition for myself.

I commend Malta for allowing this display of valuable items, some of which had never left Malta or been seen in the United States.  In doing so you are contributing to the cultural and artistic exchanges that are so important in promoting mutual understanding and generating good will among countries and peoples.

I thank all those who have made this exhibition possible, and I wish everyone a memorable evening learning more about the history -- and the wonders -- of Malta.