President Pahor hosts the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; the official visit focuses particularly on good humanitarian cooperation

Ljubljana, 17. 6. 2019 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is hosting the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempia di Sanguinetto on his official visit to Slovenia. After the reception with military honours in Congress Square in Ljubljana, the Grand Master laid a wreath on the Monument to the Victims of All Wars and Victims Connected with Wars and thus paid homage to their memory.

President Pahor hosts the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; the official visit focuses particularly on good humanitarian cooperation
Photo: Bor Slana/STA

President Pahor and the Grand Master continued the programme in the Presidential Palace, where they first held a private conversation followed by plenary discussions between both delegations. Relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta are good and take place particularly in the humanitarian field, which is why the visit focused on further dialogue in this direction and the exchange of views at the highest level.

President Pahor highlighted that relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta had been established in July 1992, i.e. almost from the beginning of Slovenia’s independence. The President also noted that the cooperation was especially substantively founded on the fundamental mission of the Order, which was dedicated to caring for those in need, the ill, the abandoned, the lonely, the disabled, addicts, those with incurable diseases, etc., who could not be suitably treated in regular institutional forms of care, and also includes activities during instances of natural disasters or humanitarian catastrophes.

Due to the effective activities of the Order in various global crisis areas, the cooperation between the Republic of Slovenia and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta also enables new possibilities to extent cooperation within international projects in third countries where the Republic of Slovenia has no permanent representatives.

Among current foreign policy topics, the discussion partners spoke about the future of the EU, multilateralism, the situation in the Western Balkans and the issue of migrations. On that note, the President pointed out that in cooperation with other humanitarian organisations the Sovereign Military Order of Malta contributed to mitigating the migrant crisis, which Slovenia was faced with in 2015, and before that, it responded efficiently to the needs caused by glaze ice in 2014 and the subsequent floods in the Notranjska region. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is particularly engaged in Slovenia in the collection of aid and basic necessities for families, disabled children and persons who are abandoned and marginalised or addicts.

President Pahor hosts the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; the official visit focuses particularly on good humanitarian cooperation
Photo: Bor Slana/STA

As per the operations and experience of the representatives of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the visit was an opportunity to exchange views and experience relating to health care and long-lived society, with a special focus on the disabled, the ageing population and palliative care, i.e. topics to which President Pahor dedicates a lot of attention. Cooperation in the field of protection against natural and other disasters was also at the forefront of the visit. The international cooperation of Slovenia in this field involves neighbouring countries in particular and those countries in the region with which we share similar disaster risks. The Order of Malta Aid – Slovenia, which operates within the framework of the Slovenian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, received the bronze civil protection badge in 2015 as a recognition for selfless aid in eliminating damage caused by glaze ice in Slovenia.

President Pahor and the Grand Master will conclude the official programme with a formal lunch at Strmol Castle.