28/12/2014 International Organization for Migration – 105th Session of the Council
During the General Debate held at Palais des Nations in Geneva, three Catholic Institutions where among the Delegations that addressed the IOM Council: the Holy See, as a member State, the Sovereign Order of Malta, as a Permanent Observer, and the International Catholic Migration Commission as a Non-Governmental Organization. H.E. Pictet-Althann gave an overview of the Order of Malta’s worldwide activities in support of displaced populations. “Recent tragic events have reminded us once again how important it is to ensure durable and sustainable solutions”, the Ambassador pointed out, emphasizing the ongoing emergency relief operations in the Middle East, particularly in Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon. She also highlighted the Order’s assistance programs in the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Regarding the tragic events around Lampedusa, she reported on the Order’s rescue activities carried out on board the Italian Finance Police and Coastguard vessels, thus guaranteeing immediate healthcare at sea to those crossing the Strait of Sicily. The Order of Malta Italian’s Relief Corp has indeed assisted more than 9000 migrants since 2008. In his reply, IOM’s Director General Swing thanked the Order for its capacity to react promptly in disaster situations. He also praised our presence in areas affected by armed conflicts, and expressed his deep appreciation for the role we play in the field of migration.
To read the whole statement of Ambassador Pictet-Althann, please go to STATEMENTS.