Malta’s participation in major programmes of multicultural co-operation is now linked mainly to the Creative Europe and Life-long Learning programmes funded by the European Union.
Apart from the country’s ongoing participation in European Union programmes and initiatives, Malta remains committed towards an active contribution to the Council of Europe and UNESCO conventions.
Responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of UNESCO conventions are normally the responsibility of the ministry responsible for culture but specific issues (e.g. the cultural rights of refugees and ethnic groups) also involve the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security.
In 2013, Government controversially appointed a Monsignor as Malta’s Ambassador to UNESCO leading to numerous calls in the media by civil society to ensure the separation of State and Church matters. Malta’s new permanent representative to UNESCO was tasked with enlisting various cultural assets to UNESCO lists. These included enlisting Mdina, the Citadella in Gozo and the catacombs among seven candidates on Malta’s UNESCO tentative list, which if approved would also enjoy world heritage status. In addition, Malta is also in the process of nominating the Maltese Feast and the Maltese language to the list of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible World Heritage.
Il Cantilena, the oldest known literary text in the Maltese language, is also set to be nominated for UNESCO’s International Memory of the World registry. The poem, attributed to Pietru Caxaro, dates from the 15th century.
Ever since its accession to membership in the Council of Europe in 1965, Malta has constantly contributed to the overall workings of the Council of Europe, mainly through its Parliamentary delegation, but also at Ministerial levels and through its representative experts in various fields that participate regularly in several working groups established within its widespread structure. Malta is regularly represented in Cultural Committee meetings of the Council of Europe and UNESCO, especially where themes like conservation of the cultural heritage and action for the protection of the maritime heritage are concerned.
Malta is a signatory of the European Cultural Convention and active within the Council of Europe’s Cultural Heritage Committee. It is also active within the European Conference of Ministers responsible for cultural heritage and, as far back as 1992; the Valletta Convention gave a decisive lead to the concerns of the Council of Europe in this area of interest.
|CONVENTIONS (Council of Europe) SIGNED/RATIFIED||SIGNED||RATIFIED|
|European Cultural Convention, (Paris 1954)||2/5/1966||12/12/1966|
|European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage, London 1969 (London Convention 1969)||6/5/1969||30/4/1971|
|European Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property, Delphi 1985 (Delphi Convention 1985)||NO||NO|
|Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe, Granada 1985 (Granada Convention1985)||20/6/1990||20/6/1990|
|European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Revised), Valletta 1992 (Malta Convention 1992)||16/1/1992||24/11/1994|
|European Landscape Convention (Florence Convention 2000)||20/10/2000||NO|
|Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society, Faro 2005 (Faro Convention 2005)||NO||NO|
|Council of Europe Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (Strasbourg 5/11/1992)||5/11/1992||NO|
|Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, The Hague 1954 (Hague Convention 1954)||NO||NO|
|Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, The Hague 1954 (Hague Protocol 1954)||NO||NO|
|Customs Convention concerning facilities for the importation of goods for display or use at exhibitions, fairs, meetings or similar events (Brussels 1962)||11.05.1988*|
|Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (UNESCO Convention1970)||NO||NO|
|UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (UNIDROIT 1995)||NO||NO|
|Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage (Paris 1972)||14/11/1978**|
|Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, The Hague 1999 (Hague 2nd Protocol 1999)||NO||NO|
|Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Paris 2001)||NO||NO|
|Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (Paris 2003)||NO||NO|
|Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression, (Paris 2005)||18/12/2006*|