First Lady Diana Nausėdienė attended the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Republic of Lithuania.
In her welcoming speech, the First Lady stressed that many people in Lithuania still remember the very first humanitarian aid shipments bearing the Order of Malta’s crosses, which reached our country shortly after the restoration of independence. According to Mrs. Nausėdienė, the active involvement of the Order of Malta at that difficult time for Lithuania was a strong sign of international and Christian solidarity.
“From that time until today, the Order of Malta Relief Service has remained an active force for good in Lithuania. I am grateful for the humanitarian aid and charity provided to the vulnerable, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, children from disadvantaged families, as well as for the contribution to social and health projects,” said the First Lady.
D. Nausėdienė also noted the important contribution of the Order of Malta to the development of social services in Lithuanian regions. Here, the Maltesers take care of day-care centers for children and the elderly, and care home has recently been opened. According to the First Lady, the competence of the Order of Malta and the trust it has gained from the public also help other NGOs operating in the country.
“The Order of Malta is a shining example of Christian compassion and solidarity, offering hope and helping to build a modern welfare state. These 30 years of cooperation between us are a true success story. I wish that it will become a solid foundation for new meaningful projects that help people who are in real need of help,” said Mrs. Nausėdienė.
The Order of Malta has diplomatic relations with 110 countries and the European Union and has permanent observer status at the United Nations. The diplomatic corps of the Order of Malta is normally made up of professional diplomats who have left active service but are willing to share their experience and knowledge in a voluntary capacity, as well as members of the Order who are competent in the field of international relations.
Diplomatic relations between the Order of Malta and the Republic of Lithuania were formally established on 9 July 1992.