In the first-ever meeting between Ambassador Beresford-Hill and Ambassador Hwang, the former introduced the latter to the history and humanitarian activities of the Order of Malta. They discussed the sovereignty of the Order and Ambassador Hwang showed a keen interest in its functioning. Ambassador Hwang also spoke about North and South Korea relations and the challenges faced by North Korean refugees who travel through China to reach the south.
Ambassador Beresford-Hill presented the Order’s activities in Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, with a focus on recent efforts in Haiti. He mentioned the Order’s protocol on human trafficking and its global initiatives in assisting refugees and establishing healthcare facilities in Palestine, Turkey, and northern Syria. The ambassador highlighted the Order’s specific activities in South Korea, including providing meals and aid to the poor and elderly, distributing jackets to the homeless, and offering free lunches to seniors.
Ambassador Hwang discussed Korea’s engagement in the United Nations, particularly its aspirations for membership in the Security Council. He emphasized the importance of the refugee issue and the significant number of North Korean refugees in South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Both delegations agreed on the high priority of refugee matters.
Ambassador Beresford-Hill also mentioned the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea, as the Order of Malta aims to expand its presence in Asia and already maintains diplomatic relations with several ASEAN nations. The meeting laid a foundation of mutual understanding and potential collaboration between the Order and the Republic of Korea.