Human Rights Council – 52nd session – Item 3 – Interactive Dialogue – Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann, Permanent Observer

Mr. President,
Madam High Commissioner,
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

The Sovereign Order of Malta aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the
International Freedom of Religion or Belief Alliance (IRFBA).

My Delegation congratulates the Special Rapporteur, Ms. Nazila Ghanea, on her appointment
and thanks her for her outstanding report. By underlining the Council’s evolution on this basic
human right, she provides us with a most in-depth analysis which acknowledges the expansion
and broadening sphere of responsibilities in this field.

As a lay/religious institution, the Order of Malta is a faith-based actor engaged in many areas
developed in the report at all levels. Our active participation and advocacy in international fora,
such as the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, the IRFBA, the Munich Security Conference and
the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), enables us to promote implementation of the Council’s
resolutions. Through our humanitarian action in 120 countries, we operate in an inclusive and
non-discriminatory way through partnerships with local communities of different cultures and
beliefs.We welcome the initiative taken by several States to appoint special envoys with freedom of
religion or belief mandates.

Finally, allow me to express the Order of Malta’s gratitude to the Special Rapporteur for her
participation as a panelist in our high-level event on “Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict” at the
recent Munich Security Conference.

I thank you.