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MALTATODAY 22 January 2023

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 22 JANUARY 2023 THIS IS A PAID COLLABORATION Denise Fiorentino It is the aspiration of every parent to give his children better life prospects; a better society to live in. Investing in a better society is a collective effort which requires a clear understanding as to how we can improve our society and meet the ambitions of our citizens: both now and in the future. This thought process has led the Public Service and the Ministry for Social Policy to the de- velopment of a holistic Social Vision for Malta for 2035, which is intended to serve as a map leading us towards a better and more just society. Addressing all the different realities of society is no small feat. It requires a thorough understanding of current challenges whilst also taking a leap of faith towards anticipating future chal- lenges which will be faced by society in the future. The development of Malta's Social Vision started in 2020 through a bottom-up approach, which has led us to the identification of eleven thematic areas intended to cover the needs and realities of society in a holistic manner. This initiative would not have been pos- sible without the contribution of various stakeholders including NGOs, academia and various Government organisations who actively contributed towards the development of Malta's Social Vision from the very first steps. The challenges faced by society dif- fer according to the different life stag- es. Thus, it comes as no surprise that childhood, youth and ageing have been identified as three of the eleven the- matic areas. However, our vision does not stop with a life course approach. Citizens face different life events or cir- cumstances which require appropriate attention, action and support. These life events and circumstances include poverty and social exclusion; families; addiction to substances, gambling and other behaviours; re-integration of for- mer offenders; persons with disability; persons identifying as LGBTIQ; violence, abuse and exploitation; and migration. Ensuring better quality of life for Mal- tese citizens requires a clear direction in terms of what are the aspirations of Maltese citizens within these thematic areas. Such direction has been articu- lated within the various future policy goals which have been developed for every thematic area. These will provide the necessary direction to future strate- gies and action plans in the months and years to come. In order to ensure that Malta's Social Vision truly reflected the aspirations of society, a public consultation exer- cise was launched in June 2022. This exercise has provided valuable input and has enabled us as policy makers to consolidate and finalise the document which was subsequently launched in December last year. Malta's Social Vision for 2035 is the first agreed roadmap as to what are the aspirations of our society for the future. It is the first step of a very long mara- thon which needs to be implemented, monitored, and evaluated. In this regard, the collaboration of all stakeholders including civil society and the public is required. Malta has now a map for Maltese So- ciety for 2035; the next step is to imple- ment Malta's Social Vision and make it a reality to improve the quality-of-life citizens and create a better future for our children. Malta's Social Vision for 2035 can be accessed on Denise Fiorentino serves as Director Gen- eral for Research, Policy and Operations (Ministry for Social Policy) within Malta's Public Service. Building the society of the future A SOCIAL VISION FOR MALTA 2035

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