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 Order of Malta 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

The Grand Master meets the Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva

The director general of the United Nations office in Geneva Kassym-Jomart Tokayev received Grand Master Fra' Matthew Festing in June 2011. Discussed during the cordial meeting were the Order's programmes in acute humanitarian emergencies and the progress of recent initiatives.

During the following ceremony, Festing donated to the UN office a sculpture entitled "compassione", created by the venetian artist Giorgio Bortoli.







Iraq: Mobile clinic doctors flee persecution, treat the displaced



Dr. Nagham H., 44 , and Dr. Sinan M., 41, fled together with their families from the city of Bakhdida (also known as Karakosh) on September 6th, following its occupation by the Islamic State (ISIS). They sought refuge in Erbil and now live together with other refugees and displaced families. As doctors, Nagham and Sinan felt compelled to help those who fled with them. They now work in the mobile clinic run by Malteser International and its local partner TCCF to bring health care to the displaced throughout the region.


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Ebola: “We must join forces and act together – the time is now!”



Interview with Dr. Marie Benner, Malteser International expert in Public Health. So far, the current Ebola outbreak has caused 5,000 deaths, and the number of new infections continues to rise. What makes this virus so difficult to stop?  So far, there is no vaccine against the Ebola virus (at least none that is approved for mass distribution). All we can do is treat the symptoms. That’s why the epidemic is spreading at a rate no one imagined would be possible. Currently, half of all people who contract the virus die. However, if the current experimental vaccine trials are successful, the WHO reports that a first batch will be ready to ship to West Africa in January.


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The Sovereign Order of Malta in Geneva: committed to promoting human dignity and religious freedom



Interview with Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann With over 2,500 conferences organized each year, Geneva, the humanitarian capital of the world, is one of the most important centers of multilateral diplomacy. 172 Permanent Missions, 30 International Organizations and some 250 NGOs make up “international Geneva” with a workforce of 28.000 diplomats and civil servants. The Sovereign Order of Malta is here present with a Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations and its specialized agencies, to develop relations with international and intergovernmental humanitarian organizations and to inform them about the activities of the Order of Malta, with the aim of contributing to the discussions on all aspects related to the protection of human dignity. Head of the diplomatic mission since 2005, in this interview Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann, explains her role and how the Mission has changed over the years.


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