This website uses technical and assimilated cookies as well as user-profiling third party cookies in a grouped format to simplify online navigation and to protect the use of services. To find out more or to refuse consent to the use of one or any of the cookies, click here. Closing this banner, browsing this page or clicking on anything will be taken as consent to the use of cookies.



The Mission in Geneva develops relations with international and intergovernmental humanitarian organizations to inform them about the activities of the Order of Malta and to define possible fields of cooperation. Our work focuses on :


Should you wish to contact a representative of the Order of Malta at an international conference in Geneva, please note that the Delegation is seated near other Observer delegations, such as the Holy See, Palestine and the ICRC.

Freedom of Religion / Special Rapporteur Report at the U.N. Geneva



Human Rights Council – 30th Session – Ambassador Pictet Althann Speech

H.E. Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann, Permanent Observer of the Order of Malta to the U.N. Geneva, full length intervention from today during the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council, at the U.N. Geneva. Topic: Contemporary forms of Slavery.


ECOSOC Conference “Humanitarian Affairs” at the U N


Human Trafficking Session and Side Event at the U.N. Geneva


UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Debate on Freedom of Religion or Belief


H.E. Ambassador Marie-Therese Pictet-Althann, Permanent Observer of the Order of Malta to the U.N. Geneva, comments about the Report (on Tuesday March 10) of the Special Rapporteur Prof. Heiner Bielefeldt, during the 28th session of the Human Rights Council.


Freedom of Religion / Special Rapporteur Report at the U.N. Geneva


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.


10-11 December 2014 – UNHCR – Protection at Sea


At stake are lives, rights and the human dignity of people who take to sea” remarked UNHCR’s Director of Protection at the opening of the high level dialogue convened by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on the topic of “Protection at Sea”. The session was called to address a truly global challenge which deserves urgent attention from the international community, in particular governments and the media. It was divided between regional roundtables and 3 working groups concentrating on saving lives, providing safer options and international cooperation to share burdens and responsibilities. The Order of Malta’s Delegation participated in each of the discussions highlighting the Order’s Italian Relief Corps’ (CISOM) first aid at sea operations on board the Italian Coast Guards and Finance Police vessels and stressing the necessity of an inclusive approach that englobes not only refugee law but also the rights of migrants, human rights and international humanitarian law.


H.E. Pictet-Althann interviewed by Pax Press Agency


12/11/14 “H.E. Ambassador Pictet-Althann decorated by the Holy See”

H.E. Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann decorated as Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great

On 12th November 2014 the members of the Order’s Permanent Mission, together with sixty guests, including directors general of international organizations, heads of Missions and ambassadors, were invited to the Permanent Mission of the Holy See in Geneva for the award ceremony of our Ambassador Marie-Therese Pictet-Althann. After a warm welcome, H.E. Archbishop Monsignor Silvano Tomasi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United Nations, addressed the audience. “The Order of Malta and the Holy See”, he pointed out, “share common objectives, such as solidarity and the respect of the dignity of each person”. He then introduced the decoration of Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great as a “special distinction for those who have accomplished important actions at the service of the Church and of society”. After accepting the decoration, Ambassador Pictet-Althann thanked Archbishop Tomasi and through him the Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See for such a high honor, and emphasized that this award is also an honor for the Order of Malta, a recognition of the importance and value of its work. She outlined the commitment of its members to its inspiring principles, reflected in the motto “Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum”. Referring to the Order’s worldwide activities she underlined its position within the international community and emphasized the excellent cooperation it has established with the United Nations, its specialized agencies and other international humanitarian organizations. Ambassador Pictet-Althann also warmly thanked her family and all the friends who have been supporting her work throughout the last years.


Civilisation de l’Amour

Civilisation de l’Amour : un dialogue pour montrer que ce n’est pas une utopie mais une espérance que partagent Chrétiens, Juifs, Musulmans, et aussi des laïcs. Don Patrick de Laubier, Nicolas Michel, Jean Ziegler, André Naftali Lévy, Réda Benkirane, ainsi que le Nonce, Mgr. Silvano Tommasi, et Michel Veuthey, Observateur permanent adjoint de l’Ordre de Malte à Genève, et 130 personnes, ont participé à cet événement le 31 octobre. En voici quelques photographies:

Un enregistrement audio est disponible :

Pour la vidéo, voir :

    1 2

Sovereign Order of Malta

Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations - Geneva 3, place Claparède CH - 1205 Geneva