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Order of Malta’s diplomats in conference discuss current issues and challenges for humanity  

At the two day Diplomatic Conference of the Sovereign Military Order, 25-27 January, attended by over 100 of the Order’s Ambassadors, in the Magistral Villa, Aventine, Rome, various Italian and foreign speakers from the world of international cooperation and the Holy See gave presentations.

Themes included artificial intelligence, humanitarian aid and diplomacy, interfaith dialogue and Vatican diplomacy.

Fr Paolo Benanti, AI Advisor to the Holy Father, spoke on the complicated relationship between humanity and artificial intelligence. A panel discussion on the themes of humanitarian aid and diplomacy and interreligious dialogue explored their ethical dimensions and operational challenges in the current international context, with participants Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Giuliano Amato, former Italian Prime Minister, Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the World Food Programme and Amy Pope, Director General of the International Organization for Migration.

On the second day, the Ambassadors were received by Pope Francis who welcomed them, marking their important work in the international community:

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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.