Year Founded: sovereignty officially declared in 1753
A sovereign entity located in Rome, Italy, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), commonly called the Order of Malta, once controlled the island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean but now its territory is limited to the two buildings in downtown Rome. Because the two buildings coexist with Italian sovereignty and do not constitute the element of a “state,” the United Nations has only invited the Order of Malta to participate as an observer. In spite of this, for historical reasons, the Order of Malta is still treated as a sovereign entity by other countries. It has embassies and associations in more than 100 countries and also holds seats in international organizations like the United Nations and WHO. It has good relations with Taiwan and its representative spoke at the WHA conference in 2021 showing their strong support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA.