Benedict XVI on Monday gave his traditional address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, and the Vatican press office offered a summary of the highlights of the Vatican's diplomatic activity in 2011.
Added to the 179 states are the European Union, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and the Office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In regard to international organizations, the Holy See is present at the U.N. in the capacity of observer and is a member of seven U.N. organizations and agencies, an observer in an additional eight and a member or observer of five regional organizations.
Last Dec. 5 in Geneva, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) approved the Holy See's status as a member.
Last June 18, the Holy Father appointed an apostolic nuncio to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Last April 29, an agreement was signed in Baku between the Holy See and the Republic of Azerbaijan, which governs juridical relations between the Catholic Church and that state.
On June 14, a basic agreement was signed in the Vatican between the Holy See and Montenegro, which confirmed principles and defined dispositions on questions of common interest.
Finally, on Dec. 7, an agreement was made in Maputo between the Holy See and the Republic of Mozambique. The agreement, the first of this nature signed by a country of southern Africa, consolidates existing bonds of friendship and collaboration between the two parties.