The Mission's new online presence Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission

12/09/2011

The Mission’s new online presence

State Flag of the Order of Malta

State Flag of the Order of Malta

SMOMUN/Vienna. In an joint effort to better serve the international community at the United Nations Office at Vienna and in order to inform all relevant agencies and other interested persons about our worldwide diplomatic and humanitarian activities, the Order’s Mission in Vienna has decided “to go online” with a interest-group-specific information platform, specifically tailored to the individual information needs of the international community.

The Order has bilateral diplomatic relations with 104 countries, official relations with 6 countries, official representations and permanent observer status at the United Nations, the European Union and numerous international organizations, providing a unique diplomatic humanitarian network which is both a demonstration of its sovereignty and an operational instrument for its humanitarian activities.

Diplomatic relations also mean unparalleled access, at the political level, to national governments and international organizations. There is an important operational link between the Order’s diplomatic network and its humanitarian activity and the Order’s Embassies in different parts of the world are tasked with helping the medical and humanitarian activities of its national Associations, or of its worldwide relief service, Malteser International.

The tasks of this unique network are:

  • to provide diplomatic protection when required, such as when Order activities are developed in countries where the rule of law is less than fully guaranteed;
  • to obtain customs and tax exemption to cover medical supplies and other goods essential in an emergency (where applicable following the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Art.36);
  • to promote cooperation with international organizations operating in the field: the Order’s diplomatic representations serve to initiate contact, to conclude agreements or to resolve difficulties.

In the international political field, the Order of Malta is neutral, impartial and non-political. Because of these characteristics the Order can act as a mediator.

“We have attempted to combine the most relevant information about the Order of Malta, our history and our current work in a comprehensive but still compact digital format,” said Ambassador Günther A. Granser, Head of Order’s Mission in Vienna, who invites his colleagues at the international arena in Vienna to participate in a new digital dialogue with the Order’s mission in Vienna. Therefore it is also the mission’s overall intention to optimize the public interaction by providing broad, up-to-date information about the Order’s efforts on its new website.