PROF. GUIDO de MARCO: PRESIDENT OF MALTA (1999 -
Prof. Guido de Marco was elected President of Malta on 4th
He was re-appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Malta and
Minister of Foreign Affairs on September 8, 1998, following
the Nationalist Party's victory at the 1998 General
Elections, a capacity which he held until his nomination to
the Presidency of Malta. On the 11th September, he
presented Malta's request for the reactivation of its
application for membership to the European Union to H.E.
Wolfgang Schüssel, Foreign Minister of Austria and President
of the European Union.
Prof. Guido de Marco was first elected in the interests of
the Nationalist Party to the House of Representatives in April
1966 and has been returned to Parliament at every General
Election. Appointed Secretary General of the Nationalist Party
in 1972, he served until 1977 when elected Deputy Leader and
had since been uninterruptedly confirmed until his resignation
in March 1999.
When the Nationalist Party was returned to office in 1987,
Prof. de Marco was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of the Interior and Justice. During his tenure, Prof.
de Marco introduced several bills in the House of
Representatives that integrated important conventions, such as
the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law. As
Interior Minister he led the reform and modernization of the
Police Force and founded the Police Academy.
As Minister of the Interior and Justice he attended
Conference of European Law Ministers in Lisbon (1988), and the
Hague (1989) and of the Commonwealth Law Ministers in New
Zealand (1990). It was also during his tenure that Malta
became a member of the Pompidou Group, where he participated
at its meeting of Ministers held in London in 1989. Prof. de
Marco led Malta's delegation to the United Nations General
Assembly Special Session on Drugs held in New York.
He was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs in May 1990
and remained in office until October 1996. One of his first
acts as Foreign Minister was submitting Malta's application
for membership of the European Communities in Brussels on July
16th, 1990. Stressing Malta's European vocation,
Prof. de Marco also underlined the validity of the
Mediterranean dimension. He continued to promote and pursue
the principle that the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue was a basic
element in creating structures to consolidate regional
security and co-operation. He was also instrumental in
consolidating Malta's active contribution to the work of
international organisations, including the United Nations, the
OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Commonwealth.
On 18th September 1990, Prof. Guido de Marco was
elected President of the United Nations General Assembly (45th
Session). During this time he initiated a dialogue, that later
led to a presidential motion unanimously approved, to
revitalize the General Assembly and other aspects of reform
necessary during a time of transition in international
relations. Representing the General Assembly, as its
President, Prof. de Marco undertook a number of diplomatic
initiatives leading to his visit to the refugee camps in the
Occupied Territories and Jordan, to Ethiopia and Albania.
Other initiatives include his meetings with US Secretary of
State, James Baker during the Gulf War and with H.H. Pope John
Paul II. He was also invited to Mosow for talks by the USSR
Council of Ministers and to the People's Republic of China.
As President of the United Nations General Assembly he also
visited the Democratic Republic of Korea and the Republic of
Korea in May 1991 leading to the admission of these two
countries to the United Nations, as well as Chernobyl, the
Czech and Slovak Republic. During his Presidency, Prof. de
Marco also proposed a new role for the Trusteeship Council, an
initiative which was pursued by Malta within the United
Nations and which is still under discussion to date.
Between 1990 and 1996, Prof. de Marco also spearheaded
other key initiatives in both the bilateral and multilateral
fields including the expansion of Malta's representation
overseas and the conclusion of important agreements in areas
essential for economic growth and co-operation. He headed
Malta's delegation to the various CSCE/OSCE Conferences. In
January 1992, at the CSCE Council in Prague, Malta launched
Prof. de Marco's initiative to declare the CSCE a regional
arrangement in terms of Chapter VIII of the United Nations
Charter, a proposal which was later approved by the Heads of
State and Government at the Helsinki Summit. He also continued
to promote dialogue between the CSCE and the Mediterranean
non-participating States. Prof. de Marco has given particular
attention to the Maltese Community overseas and has visited
Maltese migrants in Australia, Canada, the United States, the
United Kingdom and smaller communities in a number of other
Prof. de Marco was elected by the House of Representatives
to be one of its representatives at the Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe in 1967 where he remained for almost
twenty years as a member of this Parliamentary Assembly. He
served as member and rapporteur on several occasions of the
Legal Affairs Committee and Vice President of the Committee on
Rules of Procedure. During 1996 - 1998 he was re-elected by
the House of Representatives as a member of Malta's
delegation to the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly
during which time he was elected Chairman of the newly
constituted Monitoring Committee. He also continued to serve
in his capacity as Vice-President on the Independent World
Commission on Oceans.
Between 1996 and 1998 Prof. de Marco served as Shadow
Minister and Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs and as a
member of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Prof. Guido de Marco was born at Valletta on 22nd
July 1931, son of the late Emanuele and Giovanna née Raniolo. He was educated at St. Joseph High School, St.
Aloysius College and the University of Malta. He graduated as
a Bachelor of Arts in 1952, in Philosophy, Economics and
Italian and in 1955 as a Doctor of Laws. Since 1967 he has
been a lecturer and later a Professor of Criminal Law at the
University of Malta. He is married to Violet née Saliba.
They have a son, Mario and two daughters, Gianella and
Fiorella, all members of the legal profession.