At the special session of the General Assembly, convened to discuss the issue between Ukraine and Russia, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta’s spokesman Fra’ Nicola Tegoni, Professed Knight of Justice of the Sovereign Order of Malta and an Attorney, spoke on Wednesday, March 2nd.
Immediately after the United States and the Holy See, Fra’ Tegoni recalled the mission of the Order, which in such a delicate moment provides “global humanitarian aid with a special mission to serving the sick and the poor. In eight years of conflict, the Order’s embassy to Ukraine has provided considerable support, advice and material help to Ukranian citizens in need”.
A serious problem is that, while some refugees have sufficient means to travel and find refuge alone, or enjoy dual citizenship with neighboring nations, the majority do not have the resources to provide for themselves without support. The UN projections are worrying: there are estimated to be over 4 million people potentially fleeing the country.
“We have seen some nations go out of their way to welcome these individuals and to help them through the trauma. Our Order of Malta staff along the border with Ukraine totals over 5,000 personnel, with tens of thousands of volunteers doing everything from serving hot food and drink, caring for the victims of injury and accident, providing counseling and emotional support, and assisting in the securing of short term accommodation. We are coordinating our activities with international aid agencies, such as the Red Cross and the UNHCR, and are engaged in an international fund raising program to ensure that adequate resources continue to be available for the support and maintenance of those in need. We were encouraged that the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva will be holding a debate on human rights in Ukraine later this week. Representatives from our government will be participating in this important discussion”.
In conclusion an appeal was made to the nations, to understand “the trauma experienced by all refugees. This conflict in Europe drives home the realization that the issue of internally displaced persons and the needs of refugees forced from their homes, affects the whole world: Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and now Europe”.