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.





The World Interfaith Harmony Week - 3rd Annual Dialogue on "Advancing Peace through Interfaith Harmony" - Palais des Nations 9 February 2018
Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann

30 November 2017, 13h00-15h00 - Room XVII, Palais des Nations Mutual Contributions and Benefits: Integrating Migrants in Host Societies”

Final Report on the Symposium « Religions together for Humanitarian Action”, held on 27 May at the Palais des Nations

His Eminence Cardinal Reinhard Marx - Archbishop of Munich, Chair of the German Bishops’ Conference
H.E. Mr. Abdelkrim Benoutiq - Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Moroccans living abroad and Migration Affairs
H.E. Ambassador William Lacy Swing - Director-General, International Organization for Migration
Ms. Carol Batchelor - Director of the Internal Protection Department, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Ms. Anne Dussart (tbc) - President of the Board of Directors of International Catholic Migration Commission (Europe)
Moderator:H.E. Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič - Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva


07/06/2016 Highlights of the Sovereign Order of Malta's participation at the WORLD HUMANITARIAN SUMMIT

After 2 years of worldwide consultations, 9000 participants came together in Istanbul between 23 - 24 May 2016 for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit to reshape the field of humanitarian action.



International Organization for Migration - 107th Session of the Council
General Debate


Palais des Nations 5 February 2016
World Interfaith Harmony Week - A Dialogue on Faith, Peacebuilding & Development

02/03/2015 Symposium “Religions Together for Humanitarian Action”

Final Report on the Symposium « Religions together for Humanitarian Action”, held on 27 May at the Palais des Nations

We have the honor to enclose herewith the Final Report on the Symposium « Religions together for Humanitarian Action”, held on 27 May at the Palais des Nations. The event was organized by the Sovereign Order of Malta in cooperation with the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat and placed under the WHS’s fourth theme “Serving the needs of people in conflict”.
The Symposium focused in particular on the crucial role of religion-based actors in the architecture of international humanitarian activity. The discussions, the large attendance of participants, the general feedback received, the interest of the media and the interaction with social media actors such as faith-based and other institutions, revealed the special interest given to this topic by the international community.
The Symposium represented a unique opportunity to exchange information and experiences among representatives of different religions in the field of humanitarian action. This is fundamental for the definition of actions and policies of the coming years, especially for the proposals to be submitted to the World Humanitarian Summit.





02/03/2015 “Religions Together for Humanitarian Action”

Experts, academics and religious leaders will gather in Geneva at the United Nations Headquarters on 27th May for a one day long debate

In the framework of its participation in the World Humanitarian Summit next year in Istanbul, the Sovereign Order of Malta is organising the Symposium “Religions together for humanitarian action”. Policy makers, religious leaders and academics will gather together in the UN Geneva Headquarters on May 27th to tackle sensitive issues related to the 2016 summit – an initiative of UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon – these including the contribution of faith based organisations in war theatres and the role of religions in promoting reconciliation and resilience building.




Refugee crisis: the Order of Malta prepares for long term assistance programmes



Ambassadors, presidents of Associations, Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of Malta gathered in Rome on 11 December in the Magistral Villa on the Aventine to discuss the latest developments in the field of assistance to migrants and refugees. With its association, embassies, relief, ambulance and voluntary corps, the Order of Malta’s involvement in activities aimed at helping refugees in many parts of the world is becoming progressively stronger.


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The Grand Master inaugurates a new soup kitchen in Madrid



250 people fed every day Fra’ Matthew Festing inaugurated the new welfare initiative of the Order of Malta’s Spanish Association on 10 December, during his official visit to Spain. In the presence of the Association’s leadership, members and volunteers, the soup kitchen dedicated to St. John the Baptist was officially presented to the Grand Master. It will start operating at the beginning of January, distributing 250 meals a day to people in economic difficulty.


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Felipe VI receives Fra’ Matthew Festing in Madrid



The King of Spain, Felipe VI received the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, during his official visit to Spain. In Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, on the afternoon of 10 December the king and grand master confirmed the ancient bonds of friendship between the Order of Malta and Spain. Their talks focussed on the international situation, the Order’s charitable work in Spain, its commitment in the refugee crisis and shared projects in central and south America


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Latest interventions of the Order of Malta in the World