Order of Malta’s international conference in Rome Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission


Order of Malta’s international conference in Rome

Rome, 08/02/2013

Fra’ Matthew Festing, Grand Master: ‘We seize this opportunity to share experiences and to learn from each other.’

The International Conference of the Order of Malta was held in Rome, where the Order’s heads of government met with many ambassadors, national leaders and representatives of international organizations from around the world to discuss matters of international humanitarian diplomacy.

The objectives of the Conference, organized on the occasion of the 900 year anniversary of the granting of the Bull by Pope Paschal II, were to mark the many works and projects carried out by the Order in 120 countries where the Order has a presence, and to define the next steps in its humanitarian and spiritual development.

February 2013 marks a significant anniversary for the Sovereign Order of Malta. Exactly 900 years ago, Pope Paschal II promulgated the bull, officially recognizing the community of the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem and placing it under the protection of the Apostolic See. This document, identified with the initial words of its text, “Pie Postulatio Voluntatis”, set the legal base for the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, known today as the Sovereign Order of Malta, and was a fundamental element in its development. Founded in the Holy Land over half a century earlier as a monastic community looking after poor and injured pilgrims in a hospital in Jerusalem, it is thanks to this solemn privilege that the Hospitallers of St. John became a lay and religious order, which to this day undertakes humanitarian aid and diplomacy efforts around the world.

The Conference also created the possibility of valuable exchanges of information on experiences in the field, which the Grand Master noted in his opening speech: ‘Singapore, Sydney, North and South America are a long way from Rome. So we seize this opportunity to exchange information and ideas.”

“An important aim for the future – he further explained – is to achieve a unity between objectives and actions”.

Of paramount importance, to achieve this unity, is to focus on the promotion of the personal commitment of the members of the Order, to communicate more – both internally and externally – and to encourage and build the Order’s leaders of tomorrow, concluded the Grand Master.

The Order’s Permanent Mission was represented in Rome by Ambassador Prof. Günther Granser, who emphasized the relevance of international programs for humanitarian aid and described the Mission’s continuous efforts for multilateral dialogue to achieve common goals.

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