The 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)
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)
WFP – World Food Programme of the United Nations – (Rome)
WHO – World Health Organization - (Geneva)
The Order of Malta has delegations or representations to international organizations: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)
IOM – International Organization for Migration - (Geneva)
UNIDROIT – International Institute for the Unification of Private Law - (Rome)
UNILAT- Latin Union - (Santo Domingo, Paris)
Council of Europe – (Strasbourg)
The Prince and Grand MasterThe Grand Master is elected for life from the Professed Knights by the Council Complete of State. According to the Constitution, as the religious Superior and Sovereign, he must fully dedicate himself to the development of the works of the Order and to set an example of living by Christian principles, to all the members of the Order. He is vested with supreme authorities. Together with the Sovereign Council, the Grand Master issues the legislative measures not covered by the Constitutional Charter, promulgates government acts, manages Common Treasure assets, ratifies, international agreements and the summoning of the Chapter General. The States with which the Order has diplomatic relations recognise the Grand Master with the prerogatives, immunities and honours reserved for Heads of State. He is bestowed the title of Most Eminent Highness, and the Holy Roman Church confers him the rank of Cardinal. The Grand Master resides at the Order's seat of government in Via Condotti in Rome.
Profile of His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and Grand Master Fra’ Matthew FESTING
Fra’ Matthew Festing, an Englishman, was elected Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta on 11th March 2008 by the Council Complete of State of the Order of Malta. He succeeds Fra’ Andrew Bertie, 78th Grand Master (1988-2008), who died on 7 February.
The Coat of Arms of
Grand Master Festing
Grand Master Festing
He became a member of the Sovereign Order of Malta in 1977, and took solemn religious vows in 1991, becoming a Professed Knight of the Order. Between 1993 and 2008 he was the Grand Prior of England. In this capacity, he has led missions of humanitarian aid to Kosovo, Serbia and Croatia after the recent disturbances in those countries, and he attends the Order's international annual pilgrimage to Lourdes.
As well as his passion for the decorative arts and for history, his encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of the Order of Malta is well known.
The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, bilateral diplomatic relations with 104 countries and is granted the status of Permanent Observer in many international organisations, such as the United Nations. Its operational activities are managed by the six Grand Priories, six Subpriories and 47 National Associations of Knights in the five continents. The Order issues its own passports and stamps and creates public institutions, endowed with independent juridical personality. Order's life is governed by the Constitutional Charter and the Code, reformed in 1997. The Grand Master governs the Order both as sovereign and religious head. He is elected for life, within the professed knights in perpetual vows. He is assisted by and presides over the Sovereign Council, which is composed of four high offices - Grand Commander, Grand Chancellor, Grand Hospitaller, and Receiver of the Common Treasure - as well as six other members, all elected by the Order's Chapter General for a five-year term. The Council of Government and the Board of Auditors, whose compositions reflect the international character of the Order, assist the Grand Master and the Sovereign Council. The Chapter General also elects these two bodies for a five-year term.The legal system of the Order is expressed by the usual division into three powers:
Legislative powerRests with the Grand Master and Sovereign Council for non-constitutional matters; with the Chapter General, representing the Supreme Assembly of Knights, as far as constitutional rules are concerned.
Executive powerRests with the Sovereign Council, chaired by the Grand Master and composed of ten Knights elected by the Chapter General.
Judicial powerIt is exercised by the Magistral Courts of First Instance and of Appeal, composed of judges appointed by the Grand Master and the Sovereign Council from Order members of legal expertise.
Council Complete of StateThe Council Complete of State meets to elect the Grand Master or the Lieutenant of the Grand Master. The election of the Grand Master requires a majority plus one of those present entitled to vote, as provided for in Art. 23 of the Order of Malta Constitution. Among the holders of voting rights are the Lieutenant of the Grand Master or Interim Lieutenant, the members of the Sovereign Council, the Prelate, the Priors, the professed Bailiffs, two professed Knights delegated by each Priory and fifteen representatives of the National Associations.
Chapter GeneralThe Chapter General represents the Supreme Assembly of Knights and meets every five years to elect the members of the Sovereign Council, the Government Council and the Board of Auditors, to amend the Constitution and Code as appropriate and to discuss important issues such as spiritual status, the humanitarian activities programme and international relations of the Order. It is composed, among others, of representatives of Order bodies in the world: Grand Priories, Subpriories and National Associations.
Sovereign CouncilThe Sovereign Council is the government of the Order. It is composed of the Grand Master, the holders of the four High Offices (Grand Commander, Grand Chancellor, Grand Hospitaller and Receiver of the Common Treasure) and six other members. Apart from the Grand Master, they are elected by the Chapter General, by a majority of the Knights present. The Sovereign Council is called by the Grand Master and meets at the seat of the Order at least six times a year and whenever special circumstances require it.
Government CouncilThis is the advisory board to the Sovereign Council in charge of studying political, religious, humanitarian assistance and international issues. It is convened and chaired by the Grand Master and is composed of six Councillors from various geographical regions elected by the Chapter General among Knights in the three Classes of the Order. It meets at least twice a year.
Board of AuditorsIs in charge of overseeing and auditing the income, the expenditures and all the assets of the Order. It consists of a President, four ordinary Councillors and two alternates, elected by the Chapter General, from amongst Knights with particular expertise in legal, economic and financial disciplines. It also serves as an advisory board of the Receiver of the Common Treasure.
Communications BoardThe Communication Board supervises the internal and external communication activities of the Order and assists the Grand Chancellor in the development and implementation of communication programmes. It is composed of a President and six Councillors chosen from members of the Order, competent in various sectors of communication, management, public relations and mass-media.
Juridical CouncilThis is an expert advisory collegial body that may advise the Grand Master, subject to consultation with the Sovereign Council, on relevant legal issues. It meets at the seat of the Order and is composed of a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary General and four members.
These are appointed by the Grand Master with the advice of the Sovereign Council ideally from members of the Order, and are law experts, particularly in Order Law, public and international law and Canon Law.
Magistral CourtsPursuant to the Code, the Magistral Courts exercise the jurisdictional function of court of first resort and of appeal. The Presidents of the Court, the Justices and the Chancellor are appointed by the Grand Master, with the deciding vote of the Sovereign Council, among Order members with legal expertise. Trial procedures, except for directives set forth by the Code, are subject to the rules of civil procedure of the State of the Vatican City. Upon written request of States or international law entities, the Magistral Courts may also act as an arbitration venue for international controversies.
The Office of Advocate GeneralThe Office of Advocate General provides legal assistance pursuant to the Code and is made up of independent members of the legal profession of eminent repute who are experts in law and versed in the traditions and customs of the Order. It is composed of the Advocate General and two alternates who are appointed by the Grand Master with the Sovereign Council for a period of three years renewable. The organisations of the Order should seek the advice and the assistance of the Office of the Advocate General whenever necessary and especially in cases which involve complex legal issue.
Receiver of the Common Treasure
The Receiver of the Common Treasure - the Minister of Finance - directs the administration of the finances and the property of the Order in coordination with the Grand Chancellor, under the authority of the Grand Master and the surveillance of the Board of Auditors. He is responsible for drawing up the annual accounts, relating to the economic and financial state of the Order, submitting them to the Board of Auditors and to the Grand Master, with the advice of the Sovereign Council, for approval. Also with the advice of the Sovereign Council, he submits to the Grand Master for approval the acceptance of inheritances, bequests and donations, and the disposal and subsequent reinvestment of the goods of the Order. He manages and supervises the Magistral Postal Service and, through the Secretary General , the internal services of the Magistral household, the Personnel Office of the Grand Magistry, the Office of Technical Services and the superintendence of the Magistral Palace and related buildings. With the mandate of the Grand Master, the Receiver also supervises the administration of the organisations and works of the Order. He is the counter-signatory for acts of disposal or assignment and contracts which involve the property of the Grand Magistry and the Priories.Profile of the Receiver of the Common Treasure
H.E. Marchese Gian Luca CHIAVARI
Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion in Obedience
Gian Luca Chiavari was born in Rome on January 11, 1935, to H.E Ambassador to the Italian Republic Marquis Gian Gerolamo Chiavari and Marquise Laura Pallavicino. Married to Marchesa Elena Cattaneo della Volta di Belforte, Dame Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion in Obedience of the Order of Malta, he has three children: Fabiano, Violantina and Giacomo. He graduated with honours in Business Administration from the University of Genova and was the Italian delegate to the International Associations of Students of Business Administration. He served in the military as Officer of the Cavalry Regiment of Genova.
Until 1994 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Shell Group in Italy and worked abroad for many years with this company. Admitted to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 1979, made the Promise of Obedience in 1983. Elected Receiver of the Common Treasure at the 1999 Chapter General, re-elected in 2004 and in 2009. Counsellor of the Pilgrimages of the Italian Language and of the Committee for Pilgrimages to Lourdes. Has also been Counsellor of the Italian Association and member of the Council for Communications of the Order. He is Vice President of the Corps of Italian Nobility and President Emeritus of the Association of Nobles of Liguria.
The 79 Grand Masters
|1||Blessed Gerard||Sept. 3 1120|
|2||Fra' Raymond du Puy||1120 - c. 1158/60|
|3||Fra' Auger de Balben||c. 1158/60 - 1162/3|
|4||Fra' Arnaud de Comps||1162 - 1163|
|5||Fra' Gilbert de Aissailly||1163 - c.1169/70|
|6||Fra' Gastone de Murols||c. 1170 - c. 1172|
|7||Fra' Gilbert||c. 1172 - 1177|
|8||Fra' Roger de Moulins||1177 - c. 1187|
|9||Fra' Hermangard d'Asp||1188 - c. 1190|
|10||Fra' Garnier de Naplous||1189/90 - 1192|
|11||Fra' Geoffroy de Donjon||1193 - 1202|
|12||Fra' Alfonse of Portugal||1203 - 1206|
|13||Fra' Geoffrey le Rat||1206 - 1207|
|14||Fra' Garin de Montaigu||1207 - c. 1227/8|
|15||Fra' Bertrand de Thessy||c. 1228 - 1231|
|16||Fra' Guerin||1231 - 1236|
|17||Fra' Bertrand de Comps||1236 - c. 1239/40|
|18||Fra' Pierre de Vielle-Bride||1239/40 - 1242|
|19||Fra' Guillaume de Chateauneuf||1242 - 1258|
|20||Fra' Hugues de Revel||1258 - 1277|
|21||Fra' Nicolas Lorgne||1277/8 - 1284|
|22||Fra' Jean de Villiers||1284/5 - c. 1293/4|
|23||Fra' Odon de Pins||1294 - 1296|
|24||Fra' Guillaume de Villaret||1296 - 1305|
|25||Fra' Foulques de Villaret||1305 - 1319|
|26||Fra' Helion de Villeneuve||1319 - 1346|
|27||Fra' Dieudonné de Gozon||1346 - 1353|
|28||Fra' Pierre de Corneillan||1353 - 1355|
|29||Fra' Roger de Pins||1355 - 1365|
|30||Fra' Raymond Berenger||1365 - 1374|
|31||Fra' Robert de Juliac||1374 - 1376|
|32||Fra' Jean Fernandez de Heredia||1376 - 1396|
|33||Fra' Riccardo Caracciolo||1383 - 1395|
|34||Fra' Philibert de Naillac||1396 - 1421|
|35||Fra' Antonio Fluvian de Riviere||1421 - 1437|
|36||Fra' Jean de Lastic||1437 - 1454|
|37||Fra' Jacques de Milly||1454 - 1461|
|38||Fra' Piero Raimondo Zacosta||1461 - 1467|
|39||Fra' Giovanni Battista Orsini||1467 - 1476|
|40||Fra' Pierre d'Aubusson||1476 - 1503|
|41||Fra' Emery d'Amboise||1503 - 1512|
|42||Fra' Guy de Blanchefort||1512 - 1513|
|43||Fra' Fabrizio del Carretto||1513 - 1521|
|44||Fra' Philippe de Villiers de l'Isle-Adam||1521 - 1534|
|45||Fra' Piero de Ponte||1534 - 1535|
|46||Fra' Didier de Saint-Jaille||1535 - 1536|
|47||Fra' Jean de Homedes||1536 - 1553|
|48||Fra' Claude de la Sengle||1553 - 1557|
|49||Fra' Jean de la Vallette (or Valette)||1557 - 1568|
|50||Fra' Pierre de Monte||1568 - 1572|
|51||Fra' Jean de la Cassiere||1572 - 1581|
|52||Fra' Hugues Loubenx de Verdala||1581 - 1595|
|53||Fra' Martin Garzez||1595 - 1601|
|54||Fra' Alof de Wignacourt||1601 - 1622|
|55||Fra' Luis Mendez de Vasconcellos||1622 - 1623|
|56||Fra' Antoine de Paule||1623 - 1636|
|57||Fra' Juan de Lascaris-Castellar||1636 - 1657|
|58||Fra' Antoine de Redin||1657 - 1660|
|59||Fra' Annet de Clermont-Gessant||1660|
|60||Fra' Raphael Cotoner||1660 - 1663|
|61||Fra' Nicolas Cotoner||1663 - 1680|
|62||Fra' Gregorio Carafa||1680 - 1690|
|63||Fra' Adrienne de Wignacourt||1690 - 1697|
|64||Fra' Ramon Perellos y Roccaful||1697 - 1720|
|65||Fra' Marc'Antonio Zondadari||1720 - 1722|
|66||Fra' Antonio Manoel de Vilhena||1722 - 1736|
|67||Fra' Raymond Despuig||1736 - 1741|
|68||Fra' Manuel Pinto de Fonseca||1741 - 1773|
|69||Fra' Francisco Ximenes de Texada||1773 - 1775|
|70||Fra' Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc||1775 - 1797|
|71||Fra' Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim||1797 - 1802|
|72||Emperor Paul I of Russia (de facto)||1799 - 1801|
|73||Fra' Giovanni Battista Tommasi||1803 - 1805|
|74||Fra' Giovanni Battista Ceschi a Santa Croce||1879 - 1905|
|75||Fra' Galeazzo von Thun und Hohenstein||1905 - 1931|
|76||Fra' Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere||1931 - 1951|
|77||Fra' Angelo de Mojana di Cologna||1962 - 1988|
|78||Fra' Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie||1988 - 2008|
|79||Fra' Matthew Festing||2008 -|
LIEUTENANTS OF THE GRAND MAGISTRY
|1||Fra' Innico Maria Guevara-Suardo||1805-1814|
|2||Fra' André Di Giovanni||1814-1821|
|3||Fra' Antoine Busca||1821-1834|
|4||Fra' Carlo Candida||1834-1845|
|5||Fra' Philippe di Colloredo-Mels||1845-1864|
|6||Fra' Alessandro Borgia||1865-1872|
|7||Fra' Giovanni Battista Ceschi a Santa Croce||1872-1879|
|8||Fra' Antoine Hercolani Fava Simonetti "ad interim"||1951-1955|
|9||Fra' Jean Charles Pallavicini "ad interim"||1988 (January-April)|
|10||Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto||2008 (February-March)|
LIEUTENANTS OF THE GRAND MASTER
|Fra' Pio Franchi de' Cavalieri
(during 75th Grand Master's illness)
|Fra' Ernesto Paternò Castello di Carcaci||1955-1962|
Around the World
Bilateral relations with countries
Home > Diplomatic relations > Bilateral relations with countries
Bilateral relations with countries
The Order has steadily increased its diplomatic relations in recent years. Today the Order has Diplomatic Missions in 104 countries – many of which are non-Catholic – and missions to some European countries, as well as to European and international organisations.
* Relations with these countries are maintained through a diplomatic special mission.
The Order of Malta also has official
The Order of Malta has relations at Ambassador level with:
- Palestinian Authority