Migrations, support to African countries, rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. These were some of the topics at the centre of the conversation in the Magistral Palace today between the Minister of Defence of the Italian Republic, Guido Crosetto, the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap, the Grand Chancellor, Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo and the Grand Hospitaller Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis.
“The Order of Malta is very grateful to Italy for its long and generous hospitality and for the precious support that has enabled us to carry out our medical and humanitarian mission for almost two centuries. The Italian Republic and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta share deep historical and religious roots. Over the centuries, we have initiated collaborative projects in the medical and rescue fields throughout the country and in coastal waters. I hope that these collaborations can continue to develop in the years to come,” declared the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap.
During the talks, which took place in an atmosphere of cordiality and cooperation, the theme of migration was addressed, with the increasing number of landings on Italian shores and the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps’ decades of intense activity. Thanks to numerous agreements with various Italian institutions, the Corps provides medical assistance and first aid at sea, operating through its own medical and paramedical staff on board the Guardia di Finanza and Coast Guard patrol boats.
The Military Corps of the Order of Malta’s Italian Association – which a few days ago celebrated the 146th anniversary of its foundation – has been run since its creation in cooperation between the Order of Malta and Italian authorities. It was decided to set up a technical round table to discuss how to further extend its tasks and intervention capabilities.
In today’s meeting the Order of Malta renewed its willingness to tackle the migratory crisis alongside the Italian institutions, also through its diplomatic network and the use of its numerous medical and social facilities it manages in over 35 African countries and in the Middle East.
The Grand Chancellor stated that “the Order of Malta has been committed for years to replacing occasional aid, such as donations, with development, training and long-term economic growth programmes”.
During the talks, the Order of Malta’s initiatives in the Ukraine were illustrated, where it has been engaged for over a year in bringing aid and humanitarian support to thousands of refugees in the war-torn country and its neighbouring states.