“The Order of Malta remains deeply concerned by the continuous and massive violations of human rights in times of conflict, in particular in the context of the war in Ukraine. We deplore the enormous human suffering and call for an immediate end of hostilities” said Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta addressing the 52nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, which opened on 27 February.
“All parties must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights laws and ensure humanitarian access” prompted the Grand Chancellor in his video message, recalling the commitment of the Order of Malta’s associations, relief and volunteer’s corps – as well as its extensive diplomatic network – in providing aid and relief to the war refugees and IDPs. The focus of the Human Rights Council 52nd session is precisely on the ongoing human rights violations in Ukraine, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“The Order of Malta’s international and national entities and partners have to this date delivered more than 4,500 tons of humanitarian aid in Ukraine, distributed half-a-million hot meals to IDPs, provided 19,000 beds in shelters and trained 13,000 people in first aid” noted the Grand Chancellor illustrating furthermore the active role the Order of Malta has taken in promoting religious diplomacy in crisis and conflict scenarios and in encouraging interfaith dialogue.
During the 52session of the Human Rights Council – ending on 4 April – the Order of Malta’s Mission to the United Nations in Geneva will participate in the inter-active dialogues with the Council’s Special Rapporteurs on a number of topics including right to freedom of religion or belief, right to food, violence against children, children in armed conflict, rights of persons with disabilities, and will attend the commission of inquiry on Ukraine and High Commissioner’s up-date.
Furthermore, the Order of Malta’s Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann will attend the Spring Meeting of the International Freedom of Religion or Belief Alliance, including a discussion with the Special Rapporteur, Nazila Ghanea. The Order has, together with the other members, observers and friends signed the IRFBA Human Rights Council statement which will be published during the session.
Photo-Credit Cover Image: UN Photo/Violaine Martin