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Order of Malta Australia

Linking diplomacy with aid to reach people in need

The diplomatic relations which the Sovereign Order of Malta enjoys with more than 110 countries and the European Union, its permanent observer status at the United Nations and international Cooperation Agreements concluded with over 50 states, exist to facilitate its humanitarian activities, and allow unrestricted and protected access especially in crisis regions.

The Order’s diplomatic network strengthens its relationships with the governments of the countries in which it operates. This network allows its medical programmes to be integrated into national and regional healthcare systems and to facilitate the importing of healthcare equipment to reach people in need as quickly as possible.

An example is Myanmar, where the Order of Malta’s worldwide relief agency, Malteser International, has been allowed to operate since 2001 when it was still extremely difficult for foreign relief organisations to work in the country. Malteser International was one of the very few international organisations able to start an immediate relief operation after cyclone Nargis hit the country in 2008, channelling international aid into affected regions.

Due to its status as a neutral, apolitical and independent institution and its humanitarian role and ongoing activities in 120 countries, the Sovereign Order of Malta is able to intervene as a mediator in conflicts.

The website Humanitarian diplomacy and management of international crises’– managed by the French Foundation of the Order of Malta – represents an interesting monitoring tool on diplomatic activities during humanitarian crises and current conflicts.

Bilateral relations

Bilateral relations with 113 states

The diplomatic activities of the Sovereign Order of Malta are closely linked to its humanitarian mission: the presence of accredited diplomatic missions in more than 100 countries of the world supports the activities of the Order.

In the international political field, the Order of Malta is neutral, impartial and non-political. Because of these characteristics, it can act as a mediator whenever a State requests its intervention to help settle a dispute.

The Sovereign Order of Malta has diplomatic relations with 113 countries:

Albania | Austria | Belarus | Bosnia-Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus | Czechia | Estonia | Germany | Greece | Holy See | Hungary | Italy | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Malta | Moldova | Monaco | Montenegro | North Macedonia | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russian Federation* | San Marino | Serbia | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Ukraine

* Relations with the Russian Federation are maintained through a diplomatic special mission.


Antigua and Barbuda | Argentina | Bahamas, The | Belize | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Costa Rica | Cuba | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | El Salvador | Grenada | Guatemala | Guyana | Haiti | Honduras | Nicaragua | Panama | Paraguay | Peru | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Suriname | Uruguay | Venezuela


Angola | Benin | Burkina Faso | Cameroon | Cape Verde | Central Africa | Chad | Comoros | Congo, Democratic Republic of the | Congo, Republic of the | Côte d’Ivoire | Egypt | Equatorial Guinea | Eritrea | Ethiopia | Gabon | Guinea | The Gambia | Guinea-Bissau | Kenya | Lesotho | Liberia | Madagascar | Mali | Mauritania | Mauritius | Morocco | Mozambique | Namibia | Niger | Sao Tome and Principe | Senegal | Seychelles | Sierra Leone | Somalia | Sudan | South Sudan | Togo


Afghanistan | Armenia | Cambodia | Georgia | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Lebanon | Philippines | Tajikistan | Thailand | Timor-Leste | Turkmenistan


Kiribati | Marshall Islands | Micronesia  | Nauru


The Sovereign Order of Malta has official relations with:

Belgium | France | Luxembourg | Switzerland | Canada


The Sovereign Order of Malta has relations at Ambassador level with:


Multilateral relations

Supporting humanitarian action

Multilateral relations with the United Nations, European Union and the principal international organisations allow the Sovereign Order of Malta to take its expertise from the field to the diplomatic table.

Through its ambassadors and diplomatic representatives, the Order’s views on issues at the core of its commitment – human rights, healthcare, food security – are represented on the international stage.

The Sovereign Order of Malta contributes with its expertise to global consultations and to the definition of possible fields of cooperation in healthcare, social assistance and emergency relief.

The Sovereign Order of Malta has relations at Ambassador level

European Union


The Sovereign Order of Malta has permanent observer missions to the United Nations and its Specialised Agencies:

United Nations – New York
United Nations – Geneva
United Nations – Vienna

ESCAP – United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific – (Bangkok)
FAO – Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations – (Rome)
IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency – (Vienna)
IFAD – International Fund for Agricultural Development – (Rome)
UNECA – United Nations Economic Commission for Africa – (Addis Ababa)
UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme – (Nairobi)
UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – (Paris)
UNHCHR – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – (Geneva)
UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – (Geneva)
UNIDO – United Nations Industrial Development Organization – (Vienna)
UNODC – United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime – (Vienna)
UNOOSA – United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs – (Vienna)
WFP – World Food Programme of the United Nations – (Rome)
WHO – World Health Organization – (Geneva)

The Sovereign Order of Malta has delegations or representations to International Organisations:

AU – African Union – (Addis Ababa)
CPLP – Community of Portuguese Language Countries – Lisbon
CTBTO- Preparatory Commission for the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban Treaty Organization – (Vienna)
ICCROM – International Centre for the study of the preservation and restoration of cultural property – (Rome)
ICMM – International Committee of Military Medicine – (Brussels)
ICRC – International Committee of the Red Cross – (Geneva)
IDB – Inter-American Development Bank – (Washington D.C.)
IIHL – International Institute of Humanitarian Law – (Sanremo, Geneva)
IFRC -International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – (Geneva)
IOC – Indian Ocean Commission – (Ebène, Mauritius)
IOF – International Organization of La Francophonie – (Paris)
IOM – International Organization for Migration – (Geneva)
IPU – Inter-Parliamentary Union (Geneva)
PAM – Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean – (Naples)
SICA – Central American Integration System – (San Salvador)
UNIDROIT – International Institute for the Unification of Private Law – (Rome)
Council of Europe – (Strasbourg)

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.