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 Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

People on the Move

N° 100, April 2006






Born in Salerno, Italy on November 23, 1932.

Primary and secondary studies in Salerno.

University studies at: 

   - Pontifical Gregorian University: Philosophy and Theology

   - Pontifical Lateran University: Civil and Canon Law

   - Pontifical Pastoral Institute at the Lateran University

   - PH.D. in Canon Law 

Post-graduate studies: 

   - Sacra Romana Rota

   - Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy: Diplomacy 

In the diplomatic service of the Holy See since July 1, 1962, he served successively at the Apostolic Nunciatures in:  

 - Nicaragua, as Attaché and Second Secretary (1962-1964);

 - Philippines, as Second Secretary and First Secretary (1964-1966);

 - Lebanon, as First Secretary and Second Auditor (1966-1970);

 - Canada, as Counsellor (1975-1978);

 - Brazil, as Counsellor (1978-1980). 

From 1970 to 1975, called back to the Vatican, he was Head of the Department for International Organizations at the Secretariat of State.

While serving at the Apostolic Nunciature in Brazil, he was appointed Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Thailand on 14 September 1980, and also Apostolic Delegate to the Republic of Singapore, Malaysia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Brunei Darussalam.

After the establishment of Relations with the Republic of Singapore on June 24, 1981, he was appointed first Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Singapore.

His term of office in Bangkok ended on 3 December 1986, when he was appointed as third Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Headquarters, New York, succeeding Monsignor Alberto Giovannetti and Archbishop Giovanni Cheli.

In 1991, Archbishop Martino established the Path to Peace Foundation in order to help support and facilitate the work of the Holy See Mission at the United Nations.

On 1 October 2002, His Holiness Pope John Paul II named Archbishop Martino President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and created him Cardinal in the Consistory of 21 October, 2003

During his 40 years as a diplomat of the Holy See, Archbishop Martino has represented the Holy See at International Conferences and Meetings, both erther as Member or/and as Head of Delegation: 

- Round Table under the auspices of UNESCO on "Minor Forms of Art in Asian   and Arab Countries, Beirut, Lebanon, 1969";

- Conference of UNESCO National Commissions, Bucharest, Romania, 1972;

- Diplomatic Conference on the Representation of States in their relations with International Organizations, Vienna, Austria, 1975;

- United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, Vancouver, Canada, 1976;

- Eighteenth Congress of the Universal Postal Union, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1979;

- The Sessions of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), held in Bangkok between 1981 and 1986;

- Seventh Conference of Heads of States or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, New Delhi, India, March 1983;

- World Summit for Children: 29-30 September 1990;

- United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3-14 June 1992;

- World Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, Bridgetown, Barbados, 25 April - 6 May 1994;

- International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt, 5-13 September 1994;

- Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, P.R. China, 4-15 September 1995;

- United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT II), Istanbul, Turkey, 3-14 June 1996;

- Nineteenth Special Session of the General Assembly on the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, June 1997, New York;

- United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, Italy, 15 June - 17 July 1998;

- Twenty-first Special Session of the General Assembly on the state of progress and initiatives for the future implementation of the Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, 1999, New York;

- Twenty-second Special Session of the General Assembly for the Overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo+5), 1999, New York;

- Twenty-third Special Session of the General Assembly on Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for action (Beijing+5), 2000, New York;

- Millennium Summit, 6-8 September 2000, New York;

- Twenty-sixth Special Session of the General Assembly on HIV/AIDS, 2001, New York;

- International Conference on Financing for Development, 18-22 March 2002, Monterrey, Mexico;

- Second World Conference on Ageing, 8-12 April 2002, Madrid, Spain;

- Twenty-seventh Special Session of the General Assembly on Children, 2002, New York;

- United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development, 26 August - 4 September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa.

-  In his capacity as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Cardinal has travelled to: Argentina, Benin, Colombia, Congo (Democratic Republic), France, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Timor Leste, Uganda, United States.