(Rivista Internazionale - December 1995: The Order of Malta at the General Assembly of the United Nations - 2/3)
Kuwait - Iraq.
The medical team of the German Malteser Hilfsdienst assisting the UN forces deployed on Iraq/Kuwait border.
Address of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta on the Occasion of the Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations - 22 October 1995.
On this happy occasion, the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, it is a great honour for me to give to the General Assembly the greetings of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and its Prince and Grand Master Fra' Andrew Bertie. Our institution joined this Assembly just over one year ago as Permanent Observer, but it has been a member of the international community
for many centuries. We are therefore well qualified to understand - together with all the peoples in the world - the meaning of today's celebration, to rejoice at having accomplished so much, and to co-operate to the fullest in implementing the principles of the Charter.
Fifty years ago the creation of the organisation of the United Nations marked the hope for a new era of peace and well-being in the world. An era meant to leave behind the horrors of the biggest war ever known to man, a war that with the introduction of the nuclear weapon had convinced peoples and governments that peace had to be pursued at all costs: a failure of that attempt could mean the destruction of mankind.
The manager of the UN office in Bonn, Agnes Heine.
Today, after the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin wall, the hope of a lasting peace in the world appears a much more achievable target than fifty years ago, and it is a great privilege to extend to this General Assembly the wish and the testimony of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta for a constant and meaningful commitment to the community of nations.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, established about nine centuries ago in Jerusalem, today has its seat in Rome. It
has diplomatic relations at embassy level with 68 member states of the United Nations,
over one third of its present members. This fact by itself explains the status of the Order in the international community, since it is recognised by these members as par inter pares.
One of the Orders welfare centres organised by the first-aid groups of the French, German, Belgian and Italian national Associations along the Rwandese borders; thousands of refugees have been looked after here.
The Order of Malta, thanks to its high moral standing, its religious and chivalrous nature, its military traditions which exalt the self-sacrifice, the high-mindedness and the discipline of the Knights of St. John, operates in ninety countries on the five continents. The Order counts 10,500 members who are able to mobilise thousands of volunteers world-wide for charitable and welfare actions.
Today the flag of the Order flies world-wide over specialised hospitals, clinics, first-aid centres and general surgeries where children, women, the elderly, the disabled and chronic invalids are cared for. These facilities provide medical and pharmaceutical assistance where epidemics are most widespread.
The Order's vocation focuses on assistance and solidarity, especially towards the weakest, those who suffer and the victims of discrimination and intolerance.
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