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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon acknowledges the work of the Order of Malta in aiding the poor

New York, 18 May 2013

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Ambassador Robert Shafer

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Ambassador Robert Shafer

The Order’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Robert L.Shafer, welcomed the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Under-Secretary General Wu Hongbo, among the many diplomatic guests at a special reception at the Order’s Embassy to mark the 900th anniversary of the Pie Postulatio Voluntatis. The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Francis Chulikatt, also attended.

In his response to Ambassador Shafer, the Secretary General noted that “the Order of Malta has always been the UN’s faithful ally in achieving the Third Millennium Goals,” and thanked the Order for its “constant commitment to serving the poor and needy.”

The setting for the reception was an exhibition of the Order of Malta’s activities from its origins, including a reproduction of Pie Postulatio Voluntatis, which was promulgated by Pope Paschal II in 1113 exactly nine centuries ago, laying the legal foundations for the Order of Malta’s sovereignty and independence.

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.