Speech of Lieutenant of the Grand Master to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Order of Malta
H.E. the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ Marco Luzzago, met the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Sovereign Order of Malta, Ambassador Antoine Zanga, in a restricted ceremony to replace the traditional audience at the beginning of the year. The meeting, held in the Order of Malta’s Magistral Palace, was attended by Ambassador Stefano Ronca.
In his speech the Lieutenant Grand Master reviewed the most significant moments of the past year, also marked by the death of the 80th Grand Master, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre. Despite the enormous difficulties imposed by health restrictions, many of the Order of Malta’s projects have continued, such as the care of the elderly, support for the victims of war and famine and assistance to migrants and refugees.
“Migration,” Fra’ Marco Luzzago stressed, “remains one of the Order of Malta’s main concerns both at the diplomatic level and in terms of sea rescue operations, assistance and the integration of refugees and migrants. Thousands of migrants around the world die each year on their journey, many of them drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. Consequently, the management and coordination of major migratory flows are urgent”. Referring to the cooperation with the Italian authorities, the Lieutenant Grand Master recalled the agreement recently signed with the Italian Ministry of Transport renewing the presence of teams of doctors from the Order’s Italian Ambulance Corps on Italian Coast Guard ships in providing first aid to migrants rescued at sea. This activity extends the bilateral cooperation to safeguard human lives at sea and further strengthens the 1991 international agreement between the Italian Republic and the Sovereign Order of Malta on assistance in the event of serious emergencies caused by natural events or man-made activities.
During the meeting, Ambassador Zanga reiterated how the Order of Malta has always remained faithful to the ideals of Blessed Gerard, its founder and first Grand Master, and how bilateral and multilateral relations have been extended and consolidated in 2020.