This website contains information on the Sovereign Order of Malta’s multilateral diplomacy in Geneva and offers direct links to other websites of the Order around the world, including that of its Government in Rome and of its Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York. It also enables you to discover the Order’s 900 year history and find out about its global humanitarian activities of to-day.
Thank you for visiting our website which will give you an insight into the Order’s diplomacy with a humanitarian dimension and a human perspective.
The Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva Kassym-Jomart Tokayev received Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing. Discussed during the long and cordial meeting were the Order’s programmes in acute humanitarian emergencies and the progress of recent initiatives in the African continent with particular reference to Sudan and Congo. Satisfaction was also expressed for the joint projects undertaken in the Balkans, in Africa and in Asia and for the intention to strengthen joint humanitarian interventions in crisis areas.
After the meeting there was a ceremony during which the Grand Master donated to the United Nations Office in Geneva a sculpture entitled “Compassione” by the Venetian artist Giorgio Bortoli.
In thanking the Grand Master, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed the universal nature of the compassion and commitment of the Sovereign Order of Malta and the United Nations to improve the living conditions of people worldwide.
Present at the meeting were Grand Chancellor Jean-Pierre Mazery and Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann, the Order of Malta’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations at Geneva.
With the start of hurricane season in the Caribbean, the region’s residents face multiple threats: not only the extreme weather itself, but also viral epidemics such as cholera, dengue, and most recently, chikungunya - a rarely-fatal but debilitating infection transmitted by mosquitos. According to the Pan American Health Organization, there have been nearly 40,000 suspected cases seen by health workers since chikungunya was first documented in Haiti in May. The actual number of cases in the country is expected to be a lot higher, since many people still lack access to health facilities.
For the Order of Malta, summer means camps for disabled young people and once again a chance for members and volunteers in numerous countries to offer their services. Whether a volunteer or a guest, it is a unique and enriching experience for all involved. Here are just a few examples of the initiatives organised on an international or national level.
Correspondence, Magistral decrees, Sovereign Council minutes, cabrei – volumes describing and illustrating the Order’s agricultural real estate – and account books. In addition to the documents produced for entry into the Order, such as family trees, parchments dating back to the Middle Ages, seals and coats of arms. These epitomize the immense resources of the Order of Malta’s Archives kept inside the Magistral Palace in Rome. We’re talking about a collection of documents in continual communication, even today, with the archives of institutions worldwide, illustrated for the first time in the book “Il valore inestimabile delle Carte. L’Archivio del Sovrano Ordine di Malta e la sua storia: un primo esperimento di ricostruzione” (“The Inestimable Value of Manuscripts. The Sovereign Order of Malta’s Archive and its History: an initial attempt at reconstruction”)