S.E. Vanessa Frazier, Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite [en]
Remise des insignes de Chevalier de l’ordre national du Mérite
à SE Madame Vanessa Frazier, Ambassadrice de Malte en Italie (Zebbug, le 27 mars 2014).
Discours de l’Ambassadeur (en anglais)
"Honorable George Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Ambassador, dear Vanessa,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are delighted, my wife and I, to welcome you all in this old house of Zebbug for a happy occasion : the presentation to our friend Vanessa Frazier of the insigna of Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite, the national order created by Général de Gaulle.
It is a real pleasure to be among your relatives -notably the Minister for Foreign affairs and Mrs Vella- friends and colleagues who had the privilege to work with you, including the ambassadors to Malta, always warmly welcomed in your previous offices of Permanent Secretary or at the Auberge de Castille.
I will have, in front of them, to talk about you because the tradition requires that a few words are said about the life and achievement of the person on whom the President of the French Republic bestows this
distinction. I guess that some of you think -and hope- that this evocation will be very short since Ambassador Vanessa Frazier is young. It will be short, although much could be said since, in a few years, Vanessa has achieved a lot, while raising her two children with her husband Marco.
You went to the United States at the Luther College to obtain a BA in French -a language that you master perfectly- and also a BA in Business Management. Then your interest turned more precisely to the
international relations and you achieved a master degree in diplomatic studies at the University of Malta with a major in International law : Perfect way to enter the Ministry of Foreign affairs where, at the beginning, you were in charge of the US and the Americas and then of the Mediterranean issues.
The brilliant beginning of your career led you to deal with issues of importance for your country : the relations with the United States, when you were posted in Washington, with the UK, during your tenure in London, with the Commonwealth as you played an active role in the organization of the Heads of Government meeting held in Malta in 2005. You also contributed to the implementation of your country’s active policy in the Mediterranean, participating in various regional meetings, in the maritime field since you represented Malta to the IMO, and in the development of a Global governance when you participated at the establishment of the International Criminal Court.
Now, you continue at a higher level, having already been ambassador to Belgium, to Luxembourg, to NATO and, at present, to Italy.
Dear Ambassador, dear Vanessa, I would like to mention particularly the important role you played from 2006 to 2012 as Director of the
Defence matters within the Office of the former Prime Minister. You did a lot for European and Mediterranean defence and security issues, such as the 5+5 meetings on defence. During the difficult times of
deep political change in the northern Africa, and notably during the uprising in Libya, you contributed by your permanent availability, personal commitment and remarkable efficiency to the very high level of solidarity and cooperation that Malta offered to the people and the States involved. In close collaboration with the Armed Forces of Malta -I am pleased to see Brigadier Martin Xuereb and many army officers among us- and with the main concerned Ministries, you organized with your team a humanitarian hub which, for thousands of people evacuated from Libya, alleviated anxiety and suffering.
The French authorities, notably the French staff, are in addition very grateful for your quick and cooperative response when we had to ask clearance for an emergency landing, due to bad weather or in-flight refueling difficulties, or for the numerous calls of the French Navy. You were very helpful while protecting your country’s sovereignty and interests : a Rafale jet landing in Luqa among the tourists could be an attraction but certainly not a good advertising for quiet holidays !
In recognition of this remarkable action as senior official of a very close partner as is Malta for France and of your commitment in the cooperation between our two countries, the President of the French Republic decided to bestow on you the distinction of Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Mérite which I am particularly happy to present to you."