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Order of Malta

An agreement signed between UNICRI and the Sovereign Order of Malta

Strengthening cooperation in the field of crime prevention and international justice

Rome -


Ms. Antonia Marie De Meo, Director of UNICRI, and Mr. Albrecht Freiherr von Böselager, Grand Chancellor and Foreign Minister of the Sovereign Order of Malta, signed an agreement between the two organizations to strengthen cooperation in the field of crime prevention and international justice.

This agreement lays the foundation for the design and implementation of training programmes in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice as well as for joint activities to respond to crises and emergences.

The Sovereign Order of Malta is a subject of international law and a lay religious institution, with a mission to care for people in need through its medical, social and humanitarian activity; to affirm the rule of law, justice and the dignity of all persons; to combat trafficking in human being and new forms of slavery.


“I am particularly pleased to sign this agreement because the Sovereign Order of Malta and UNICRI share common objectives and complementary approaches, each bringing different expertise and experiences to the critical issues of human rights and human security.  Together we can enhance our effectiveness to help the most vulnerable among us,” said Antonia Marie De Meo.

During the ceremony Ms. De Meo and Mr. Böselager reflected on the relevance and timeliness of their recent side event on migration and international security at the Munich Security Conference on 18 February 2022. The President of the Republic of Moldova, Ms. Maia Sandu, delivered the opening remarks, highlighting the importance of properly addressing migration though good governance and accountability. During the panel discussion, Ms. De Meo advocated for a more human centered approach to migration management.  “Frontline countries should ensure full reception services that take into account vulnerabilities of people on arrival,” she said.

Such advice is particularly timely following the 24 February 2022 outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. 

The Sovereign Order of Malta places a high priority on prevention of trafficking in human beings and modern slavery, an important area of work for UNICRI as well. The crisis in Ukraine may increase refugees’ vulnerability to trafficking and other forms of abuses and exploitation. Both organizations are gravely concerned about the security and humanitarian crisis in the country where civilians are dying and fleeing their homes. The Institute is ready to monitor and assess the impacts of the conflict on trafficking in the region, including trafficking in human beings, which is among the tragic consequences that increases during times of conflict.