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Thursday, January 26, 2012

HOLY SEE SIGNS UN CONVENTIONS AGAINST INTERNATIONAL CRIME


VATICAN CITY, 26 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday 25 January the Holy See, acting also in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, adhered to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (New York, 1999) and to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (Palermo, 2000). On the same date the Holy See ratified, likewise in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Vienna, 1988), which it had already signed in the year in which it was adopted. The instruments of ratification and adherence were accompanied by a number of reservations and interpretative declarations.

  In a note concerning yesterday's move Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, explains that "this step represents a further recognition by the Holy See of the efforts of the community of States to prevent and combat the most serious forms of transnational criminal activity, of dramatic actuality, through appropriate instruments of international cooperation".

  "The Holy Father reminds us that terrorism and organised crime threaten the dignity of human beings and the common good in every country in the world". Therfore, juridical instruments which counter these forms of illicit activity also contribute to peace and security. With its adhesion to and ratification of the three treaties in question, "the Holy See confirms its intention as well as its effective and practical commitment to collaborate with the international community in a manner consistent with its nature and mission, with a view to guaranteeing international peace and justice".

  The adoption of these instruments constitutes a further refinement of the legal structure of Vatican City State, which had already developed in this direction through the adoption of various laws concerning the prevention and combating of the laundering of money derived from criminal activity and the financing of terrorism. The new legal instruments offered by the three treaties also aim to raise the level of collaboration between the tribunals of Vatican City State and those of other States.

  The secretary for Relations with States also explains that "these international commitments do not prejudice the sovereign right of each State to abstain from collaborating with respect to pending legal proceedings in other contexts when those proceedings could give rise to forms of persecution of an individual for political, religious, ethnic or similar reasons". Finally, Archbishop Mamberti makes it clear that yesterday's steps "facilitate further the coming together of justice and peace", and confirm the truth of the Holy See's "commitment to the respect of human dignity and concord between persons and peoples".
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