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Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta


“Religions Together for Humanitarian Action”

Rome, 02/03/2015 

Experts, academics and religious leaders will gather in Geneva at the United Nations Headquarters on 27th May for a one day long debate

In the framework of its participation in the World Humanitarian Summit next year in Istanbul, the Sovereign Order of Malta is organising the Symposium “Religions together for humanitarian action”. Policy makers, religious leaders and academics will gather together in the UN Geneva Headquarters on May 27th to tackle sensitive issues related to the 2016 summit – an initiative of UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon – these including the contribution of faith based organisations in war theatres and the role of religions in promoting reconciliation and resilience building.

During the twentieth century, civilians became disproportionately both targets and victims of warfare. A hundred years ago 90% of war victims were military. Today, 90% of casualties are civilians.

Providing humanitarian relief to the victims of armed conflicts and protecting the most vulnerable civilians are at the heart of the traditional mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta. However the current violent conflicts taking place in many parts of the world have reached an unprecedented level and are strongly challenging the international humanitarian community in its mission to save lives and uphold human dignity.

The Symposium will seek to explore the connection between religion and conflict and will particularly focus on how religions and faith-based humanitarian actors could better assist and protect people affected by conflict and could help promote a dynamic of restraint in the use of violence and facilitate reconciliation. Faith-based institutions are in fact often the first on the spot and the last to leave, thus enjoying the trust of local communities.

In this regard it is often suggested that religion is at the core of the clashes since it has been implicated in all sorts of conflicts throughout history. But the picture is much more complex than it is usually implied. The values of religion, which are the key for reconciliation and peace, are too often manipulated for pursuit of power and profit through violence.

The Symposium – organised by the Government of the Sovereign Order of Malta in collaboration with its Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva – will be enriched by relevant facts and figures on humanitarian action coming from field operations.

To register for the Symposium:

If you would like to learn more about the World Humanitarian Summit please visit the official website

religions together for humanitarian action

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

Magistral Palace, Via Condotti, 68 Rome - Italy

Tel. +39.06.67581.1 | [email protected]