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Grand Master’s call for action to reinforce humanitarian principles in face of refugee crisis

In annual address to the Order’s diplomatic corps, emphasises need to work together, creation of a common policy

Rome, 12 January 2016

Grand Master Fra' Matthew Festing addresses the Diplomatic Corps, January 2016

Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing addresses the Diplomatic Corps, January 2016

Grand Master Fra’Matthew Festing has called for the nations of Europe to work together to manage the current refugee crisis and put a common policy and faster administrative procedures in place. He emphasised the need to reinforce the humanitarian principles stated in the post war Geneva Conventions.

In his annual address to the diplomats accredited to the Sovereign Order of Malta, the Grand Master affirmed the core values of protecting lives, upholding human dignity and promoting tolerance.

For the full text of his speech, click here

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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.