For information only - not an official document

28 February 2012

Re-issued as received

The Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta pays courtesy visit to UNIDO

VIENNA, 28 February (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - The Supreme Head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Prince and Grand Master H.M.E. Highness Fra' Matthew Festing, today paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna. He was accompanied by senior members of the government of the Sovereign Order.

Fra' Matthew Festing was received by Mr. Taizo Nishikawa, the Deputy to the Director-General of UNIDO.

Nishikawa said that UNIDO recognized the Sovereign Military Order of Malta as one of the world's longest serving, globally operating humanitarian aid and diplomatic institutions, and a cooperation partner for States and international organizations seeking support and assistance in the most diversified areas of human problem-solving.

The S. M. Order of Malta is recognized as a subject of international law and has bilateral diplomatic and official relations with more than 120 countries, as well as multilateral relations on ambassadorial level with the UN, EU and several other international organizations. In the international political arena, the Order maintains a neutral, impartial and non-political position, irrespective of race, religion and sex.

"We are interested in exploring ways of working more closely with UNIDO just as we do with other Vienna-based international organizations," said Grand Master Festing. "UNIDO has a unique mandate which focuses on poverty reduction through productive activities, trade capacity-building, and energy and environment. The duty of our Order is to care for those in need. I am confident we can find areas of cooperation with UNIDO."

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For more information, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
Email: M.Evstafyev[at]