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


Speech of Tetiana Izhevska, dean of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Sovereign Order of Malta


Your Most Eminent Highness,
This is for the first time I have the great privilege and honour, on behalf of the members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, to wish you and all the members and volunteers of the Order a happy and successful New Year.

Your Most Eminent Highness,
First of all, please accept our warmest congratulations on your election as the 80th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta.
We wish you every success in discharging the highly responsible duties of this position. May you succeed in achieving your objectives to ensure the further flowering of the work built up over centuries by preceding generations of members of the Order.
In this context, let me say that we, as the official representatives of our states, privileged and honoured to follow your activities with admiration and respect.

Please, Your Most Eminent Highness, allow me to take this ceremonial moment to welcome the new members of our diplomatic family who presented their credentials in 2018 – their Excellencies, the Ambassadors of Jordan, Burkina Faso, Serbia, Portugal, Egypt, Nicaragua, Benin, Czech Republic, Philippines, Slovakia, Germany, Uruguay and Austria. I wish them great success and satisfaction in fulfilling the noble duties of their missions!

Your Most Eminent Highness,
Over the recent years the world has faced humanitarian problems of the scale unseen since World War II. Yet, the world is again to a dangerous extent rocked with conflicts, wars, economic and social instability, hopeless poverty, hunger, natural and man-made disasters, modem slavery and climate change.
It is extraordinary to think that it is estimated around 65 million people worldwide are considered displaced; new generations are growing up in refugee camps; over 136 million people need humanitarian relief; over 8% of the world’s population living below the poverty line; children are recruited by illegal armed groups and used to fight; people in conflict-affected areas are struggling to find food and water; hospitals are destroyed and doctors killed.
Sadly, the world today is witnessing the highest level of human suffering!
At the same time, the gap between humanitarian needs and the resources to meet them is widening at an alarming rate. The truth is that to this day we are witnesses to changes for which it appears we are not fully prepared.
Unfortunately, the New Year will not be some kind of a magic reset button.

What is the cure?

In two words: responsibility and unity.

We must make use of the full range of tools available to us, matched by principled humanitarian action. Success will be measured by how we, hand in hand, regardless of race, nationality or religion, meet the needs of the most vulnerable, leaving no-one behind.

In this regard, let me quote Nelson Mandela: “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world”.

Your Most Eminent Highness,
I voice our firm conviction that esteemed and beneficent activity of the Order, carried out in a variety of fields and in different parts of the world, is not mere charity – it is “vision with action which can change the world”, as Nelson Mandela said.
Indeed, the Sovereign Order is always where the help is needed. Humanitarian problems I outlined above are illuminated by the work of those who dedicated their lives to helping the suffering. The 13 500 members, 80 000 volunteers and more than 42 000 employees of the Order are playing an unmissable role in 120 countries, implementing the meaningful humanitarian mission.

Whether in mobile clinics in Syria, refugee camps in Lebanon, Iraq or Bangladesh, health centers in Central African Republic, in schools in South Sudan, in the Rhino Camp refugee settlement in northern Uganda, helping the victims of the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, helping the needy and socially excluded in European countries, providing long-term care for people suffering from HIV/AIDS – all of them deserve our everlasting gratitude and sincere admiration. Their help brings relief to the suffering and gives them the strength to overcome difficulties.

Last year, the Order of Malta made extraordinary efforts to help those forced to flee their homes, flee from wars, conflicts, persecution and poverty. The Order of Malta was present along their journey – in the countries of origin, at the borders through which thousands pass, and in the host countries. Moreover, recognizing the importance of integration of refugees, migrants and IDPs in their new societies, the Order established integration programmes in many countries. And again, it is hope for those who find themselves in difficult situations, it is reassurance that they are not alone, that we all have one life, we all have the right to live this life with dignity.
I cannot fail to mention that the Order runs facilities all over the world providing care and treatment for the elderly, HIV-positive, homeless and people with disabilities.
From continent to continent, from country to country, from nation to nation the Order cares for those in need.
Furthermore, throughout last year, the Order continued to play its part on the international scene, by an active multilateral diplomacy, seeking global solutions to the challenges imposed on us by today’s world.
Thanks to its long-standing and solid experience in assisting migrants and refugees through many different projects across the globe and being present in the main countries of origin, transit and arrival of migrants and refugees, the Order contributed to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The Order has thus reiterated that it is of priority importance to ensure good migration management, assistance to migrants and refugees, to promote equality, countering discrimination and ensuring respect for human rights.
The Order also has continued to offer its precious contribution to combat the scourge of human trafficking, advocating awareness of the dramatic consequences of this evil, while at the same time continuing to provide help and assistance to victims.
In this same vein, the Order, with its rich expertise, contributed to global deliberations on eradication of poverty and protection of human rights.
It is impossible to list all the projects and the interventions of the Order. I regret this and feel that it is somewhat unjust. Nevertheless, those I have mentioned are reason enough to voice our admiration and recognition of the work of the Sovereign Order, the work, which we can confidently call “vision with action which can change the world”.

I assure you, Your Most Eminent Highness, that in continued efforts of the Order we will remain faithfully by your side.

Your Most Eminent Highness,
Please allow me once again, on behalf of all the members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, and on behalf of the countries we have the honour to represent here, to wish you, all the members, volunteers and employees of the Order, a happy and successful 2019.
Thank you.
Rome, January 8, 2019

Tetiana Izhevska
Ambassador of Ukraine

Dean of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

speech tetiana izhevska dean diplomatic corps accredited order of malta

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

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