Grand Master receives the Diplomatic Corps accredited to Sovereign Order of Malta in audience: “Wars, increasing populism and xenophobia, disseminating false news to inspire fear: the role of diplomacy is fundamental for guaranteeing dialogue”
Rome 8 January 2019 – Support for communities afflicted by famine and violence and forced to flee, health and social programmes and activities for the elderly, the disabled, the homeless and the marginalized. These are just some of the items listed in the speech given by the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, to the accredited Diplomatic Corps received in audience in the Magistral Villa this morning.
“2018 has been a complex year but the forecasts for 2019 remain extremely bleak,” the Grand Master declared, citing the ongoing humanitarian crises in Yemen, in Syria, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in South Sudan. Dramatic scenarios being enacted in the already existing situations of poverty, famine and violent cataclysms forcing millions of people to flee. As Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre recalled: “The Order of Malta has helped to draw up the new global pacts for migrants and refugees adopted by many member states in the recent Marrakech summit in December. We are convinced that, if we want to govern and make this by now irreversible phenomenon of migration sustainable, the global compact is the most effective instrument we possess today.” The Grand Master spoke of the efforts to assist and protect migrants along the main routes – from the Middle East, where its international relief agency’s medical teams are deployed, to the Mediterranean Sea, where the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps operates. He also stressed the need to raise awareness of international humanitarian laws to tackle trafficking in human beings, organs, arms, and drugs, as odious as it is flourishing, and to combat the growing practice of enslavement, now reaching staggering figures.
During the audience, the Grand Master illustrated the Order of Malta’s commitment in the diplomatic arena to facilitate dialogue and foster social cohesion in hostile contexts. A commitment that has enabled the Order of Malta to become increasingly recognized by the international community as a credible and reliable partner in the humanitarian sector, as also testified to by the many high-level meetings during 2018. “The ongoing wars and conflicts, the spread of populism and xenophobia, the attempts to disseminate fake news to spread concerns and fears, must remind us that the role of diplomacy is fundamental for guaranteeing an environment of dialogue and credibility in bilateral and multilateral relations,” Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre said.
One of the most demanding commitments in coming weeks is the participation in the World Youth Day in Panama at the end of January. The 120 volunteers who will travel to the central American city to offer medical first-aid to thousands of participants are getting ready to leave. A commitment, that of helping pilgrims, sustained for over 900 years, thanks to the dedication of the 80 thousand volunteers in 120 countries who lovingly support this thousand-year mission of helping our neighbour.