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


Order of Malta at Munich Security Conference: attacks against relief operators crimes against humanity

The Grand Chancellor: protect humanitarian workers
Order of Malta at Munich Security Conference: attacks against relief operators crimes against humanity
20240216, MSC, Munich Security Conference, Königssaal - Bayerischer Hof: MSC 2024 -

In opening the high level side event: “Protecting the Protectors: Upholding the Safety of Humanitarian Workers in Conflict Zones” – within the 60th Munich Security Conference framework – which starts this morning – the Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, made a heartfelt appeal for the protection of humanitarian aid workers in conflict zones: “ The Order of Malta truly believes that deliberate attacks against health facilities and relief operators are indeed crimes against humanity”.

“Our Order, with its international status, has devoted all its existence, more than 900 years now, to demonstrate that the meaning of its humanitarian diplomacy is to provide assistance to all those in need, irrespective of their origin, gender, or belief” stated the Grand Chancellor, before opening to floor to the many high-level speakers participating in the side event.

Lebanon’s prime minister, Najib Mikati, called for the protection of humanitarian workers and civilians, addressing in particular the conflict in the Middle East. The former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon drew attention to the dramatic figures on casualties among humanitarian staff: 127 relief operators killed each year, from Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, DRC, Ukraine, and of course now in Gaza where at least 167 aid workers have been killed in the last months”. IOM Executive Director, Amy Pope, and President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spoljaric Egger both stigmatized the increased risks faced every day by both humanitarian workers – who are more and more target of hate speech and direct attacks – and by the millions of people on the move who, as stated by UNHCR Secretary General, Filippo Grandi ,are a direct product of the increasing violation of International Humanitarian Laws. “In a world in which respect for International Law is decreasing by the month, the number of displaced people is rising. There are around 114 million displaced in the world” he said, adding that this is probably a conservative figure. “Meeting the basic need of everybody” was the unfeigned appeal made by Nobel Prize Laureate 1997, Jody Williams.

Photo Credits: MSC/Johannes Krey

Categories:  Diplomatic Activities, News