H. E. Jose Antonio Linati-Bosch
Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to the United Nations

on the occasion of the Special Session of the General Assembly on Children

New York,
10 May 2002

Mr. President,

Thank you very much for giving me the floor to address the United Nations Special Session on Children on behalf of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
The Order of Malta has a deep interest in the matter that occupies the General Assembly during this Special Session. Member States and Observers together with Heads of relevant entities of the United Nations are given the opportunity to deliver their statements voicing their concerns on the future of the world's children.

Mr. President,

The global context of the problem must be carefully considered. As with practically all international issues, those concerning children are tied to social, cultural, and human rights aspects as well as their realted economic and legal . To learn from the past and to project this learning to the future is needed if we want to adopt not theoretical but practical solutions and to transform them into reality. From this special Session and from the work of the United Nations a world fit for children must be created. As many other evils that are afflicting mankind, the sale of children, child prostitution, child pornography, the involvement of children in armed conflicts must be eradicated and replaced with promotion of life, quality education, child protection and the fight against AIDS in children.

A program that can only reach a satisfactory end if the international community provides interaction between governments, UN entities, international and supranational entities and organizations from civil society.

The Order of Malta, through its humanitarian activities, takes care of children in different countries from Brazil and the Dominican Republic to the Holy Land. Allow me to point out that our Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, a maternity hospital that conducts over 40,000 medical examinations a year, has been besieged and damaged as a consequence of the violence in Palestine. An example that we can extend to all the armed conflicts around the world resulting in displaced persons and refugees, among which children are the most harmed of human groups. I myself was able to witness the problem of children in refugee camps when visiting them.

Mr. President,

With the cooperation of its volunteer corps, the Order of Malta is helping to assure children the right to be born and to an education, two aspects of human rights that we are trying to protect. The Order of Malta reaffirms its commitment to the aims of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Children.

Thank you very much Mr. President.