SOVEREIGN ORDER OF MALTA
Oct. 29th, 2021
My delegation would like to thank the President of the Human Rights Council for her work and her statement, and express appreciation for the priceless action of the Council in the protection of human dignity, and in favor of the weak, the vulnerable, the most fragile, and those in need. As we have mentioned in the past, we have no interest in any political or economic outcome. We put human dignity at the center of our work.
With these shared values and principles, the Sovereign Order of Malta has been carrying out its medical, social, and humanitarian mission for over nine hundred years without any distinction of nationality, race, religion or gender.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in many places of the planet has compounded on an already suffering world, where global tensions and conflicts, the growing problems of famine, environment degradation, the issue of refugees and those fleeing war, terrorism and hunger continue to harm the weakest and poorest in our societies.
We call on all state actors for a rapid and widespread global distribution of vaccines as a humanitarian, scientific and clinical imperative to stop the pandemic and help those that are hurting most.
In the face of growing numbers of refugees and those suffering from human trafficking, the Order of Malta continues to provide support to them in war-torn regions, and we call for an increased cooperation of States and partners based on shared values to alleviate these scourges. In this framework, the essential and undisputed role of faith-based institutions has proven to be fundamental in the preventive and protective efforts. Very often, during violation of human rights, the most reliable first responders for local communities are often these types of organizations.
To this end, the Order of Malta has recently drafted the Compact ‘Religions in Action’, which includes guidelines for the role that religious communities and institutions of all faiths can play to inspire respect for human rights, to help resolve crisis situations, and to help mitigate the effects on the communities involved. This Compact was officially launched in the multilateral context of the G-20 Interfaith Forum, held in September 2021 in Bologna under the G-20 Italian Presidency.
In a world where intolerance, discrimination, extremism, and fanatism, are increasingly widespread, we also want to bring attention to other forms of exclusion such as disability, marginalization, loneliness, and rare diseases, all these made more urgent and alarming by the pandemic.
Madam President, my delegation is a strong supporter of the work of the Human Rights Council, and we have a long-standing work relationship and commitment to all parties and stakeholders in the defense of human rights through the work of our worldwide relief agency, Malteser International. This commitment is based on the Order’s centuries old vocation to serve and care for society’s most vulnerable, helping them lead a life in dignity.
This is part of our contribution to build back a better post-pandemic world, and a reminder that human rights can and must guide Covid-19 response and recovery.
I thank you Mr. Chair.