29 April 2008 - Amb. M.-T. Pictet-Althann with H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon,
Secretary-General of the United Nations


Welcome to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta to the United Nations Office and International Organisations in Geneva.



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.




Grand Master Fra' Matthew Festing's visit to UNOG on
17th June 2011.

The Grand Master meets the Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva - 17th June 2011

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.






International Roma Day The Order of Malta’s Commitment in Eastern Europe



Ratified in 1979 by the United Nations, the International Roma Day is celebrated on 8 April. Numbering between 10 and 12 million people, the Roma are one of Europe’s largest minorities and are often deprived of citizenship. The Sovereign Order of Malta operates in Albania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia in favour of the Roma minority, mainly facilitating their integration into civil society with a particular emphasis on minors.


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Official visit of the President of Liberia to the Sovereign Order of Malta



Ellen Johnson Sirleaf received this morning by Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was received this morning by the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing at the Magistral Palace. In her speech, the Liberian President, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2001, thanked the Sovereign Order of Malta for its much valued medical and social care support for her west African country.


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Rwandan genocide 20th anniversary; the Order of Malta: our duty to remember victims and survivors



In April 1994, members of the Hutu majority in Rwanda organised and implemented the mass slaughter of the Tutsi minority. In just 100 days over 800,000 Tutsi were slaughtered, 10,000 were killed each day, 7 every minute. The genocide was sparked by the death of the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, when his plane was shot down above Kigali airport on 6 April 1994. “Today we commemorate the victims of Africa's largest genocide in modern history and pay tribute to those who survived and still bear the consequences both physical and psychological of such atrocity” says Albrecht Boeselager, Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Order of Malta.


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Interventions of the Order in the World