The Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre, was received today in Paris by Audrey Azoulay, Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The bilateral meeting between the Grand Master, accompanied by Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager and Grand Hospitaller Dominique de La Rochefoucauld, and Madame Azoulay flanked by presidents of the 40th General Conference and Executive Board, took place in a climate of mutual cooperation, similar to all the Order’s diplomatic missions to the United Nations agencies, initiated in 1994.
At the end of the meeting, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre addressed the General Conference with words of appreciation for the important role played by UNESCO: “The indefatigable work carried out for education, science and culture is an invaluable contribution to peace and dialogue among peoples, to progress, to humanity and to the respect of human dignity”.
In an epoch marked by serious conflicts and crisis situations that seem insuperable: “UNESCO’s action is even more deserving of our gratitude,” said the Grand Master, recalling current humanitarian crises such as the millions of migrants on the move, human trafficking and global warming causing drought emergencies.
“In this dramatic situation, the Order of Malta remains faithful to its vocation and its mission of serving the poor and sick,” the Grand Master continued, saying he hoped to further develop the fruitful cooperation with UNESCO, and in particular guaranteeing drinking water to indigent populations and protecting historical and religious sites in the Mediterranean.
Over recent years the Order of Malta has promoted numerous initiatives with UNESCO. These include the Conference on Humanitarian Diplomacy and International Crisis Management held in Paris in 2011; the seminar organised by the Order of Malta, UNESCO and the European Union on the protection of sacred places, held in Brussels in 2012; the Cyprus Forum on the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage in the Mediterranean, again in 2012, and finally the scientific conference organised by the Order of Malta with UNESCO in Naples on World Water Day this year.
During his visit to Paris, that started on Tuesday, 12 November, the Grand Master visited Maison Ferrari, one of the homes for the elderly managed by Ordre de Malte France. Situated in a park in Clarmart, just outside the capital, besides providing medical care, it also offers a series of activities for the psychophysical wellbeing of its guests.
Photo Credit: SERVICE DE LA COMMUNICATION DE L’UNESCO