It’s been a while since Malta has heard anything from Joseph Muscat.
However, for the first time since his resignation as Prime Minister last January, Muscat has given an interview, a nine-minute take on the COVID-19 pandemic to an Azeri political think tank.
The interview was actually published by the think tank, the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre, on 4th May but went unnoticed in Malta until now.
It was a pretty informal interview, with Muscat wearing a T-shirt and speaking from his home as his dog Habiba Perla barked in the background.
The former Prime Minister said the pandemic has underlined the need for a reform in global governance.
“The most fascinating part for me is that the concept of security has changed drastically in practice,” he said.
“Before it was mostly theoretical, where we saw the softer version of security being bandied about in conferences, but now people realise that health is an essential part of their security and there will be a reevaluation of all that.”
“Security doesn’t necessarily mean armies and weapons but other things too, and if anything this should really and truly put forward the need for reform in the UN and the UN Security Council, for the simple reason that it’s obvious that our structures of global governance are now outdated when it comes to facing new challenges.”
He said he is in two minds about whether the world will radically change as a result of the pandemic.
“On the one hand, I think this has been a huge shock that will change the mindset of many people which will make us reevaluate and re-assess our lifestyles. On the other hand, I think human beings have a very short memory so I dont know which side will win. The jury is still out.”
He also praised Malta’s response to the pandemic.
“From what I’m observing, the physical constraints of a number of islands means that you can control the entry and exit of people in a much better way and I think that helped a lot.”
“However, I also think the authorities spoke very clearly and the population followed. I think the people were very cooperative, they didn’t underestimate this and it gave rise to what I think is a very good result to say the truth.”
Muscat served as Prime Minister for seven years but resigned last January in the midst of a political crisis, which saw his chief of staff Keith Schembri implicated in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
He has since re-emerged on the local political scene, providing his successor Robert Abela with potential scenarios for what the Maltese economy could look like in the wake of COVID-19.
Photo Inset: ms_habiba_perla: Instagram