Malta’s international leadership in the promotion of equality has been recognised with the awarding of the Premio Diverso Internacional by the Spanish Diversa Global Association.
Malta’s Ambassador to Spain Vanni Xuereb accepted the award on behalf of the country during a charity dinner on June 8 at the Palacio de Cibeles, seat of the Madrid city council.
Every year, Diversa Global presents awards to institutions, companies, and individuals who have worked for, exercised, and promoted diversity in all its aspects.
This year, the Spanish Association of Lawyers Against Hate Crimes (AACDO), nominated Malta for the International Award in recognition of its leadership in the promotion of equal rights for LGBTI persons.
"The award recognises that Malta is one of only few countries in the world to have entrenched LGBTI rights in its Constitution," foreign affairs minister Carmelo Abela said.
"Malta has been a pioneer in the adoption of measures, such as the express prohibition of reparative therapies relating to sexual orientation and gender identity – the first country in Europe and in the world to have adopted this measure – among many other rights that are detailed in the annual reports of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. Malta is, therefore, a clear example for the international community of a society having an inclusive and respectful legal framework for LGBTI diversity.”
Ambassador Dr Xuereb said the government's leadership on the issue had not only led to Malta having among the most progressive legislation in the world, but also to a change in the mentality of the majority of Maltese.
He said Malta was also taking the lead within the EU to promote the idea that all member states should have a basic degree of respect towards minorities, treat their citizens equally, and disallow discrimination.