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Holy See (Vatican City State): Support for International Anti-Crime Agreements

(Jan. 27, 2012) On January 26, 2012, the Vatican moved to support three international conventions that are designed to fight various kinds of criminal activity. (Vatican OK's Moves on Drugs, Organised Crime, Terrorism, LIFE IN ITALY (Jan. 26, 2012).)

· The Holy See ratified the December 1988 United Nations Convention Against the Illegal Trafficking of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances. (Text of Convention, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) website (last visited Jan. 26, 2012).) This treaty

provides comprehensive measures against drug trafficking, including provisions against money laundering and the diversion of precursor chemicals. It provides for international cooperation through, for example, extradition of drug traffickers, controlled deliveries and transfer of proceedings. (Id.)

The Vatican had signed the Convention on December 20, 1988. (Status of Treaty Adherence, UNODC website (last visited Jan. 26, 2012).)

· The Vatican also took action on the December 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, signing it. (Convention, United Nations Treaty Collection, (last visited Jan. 26, 2012).) This Convention is designed to “enhance international cooperation among States in devising and adopting effective measures for the prevention of the financing of terrorism, as well as for its suppression through the prosecution and punishment of its perpetrators.” (Preamble, id.)

· In addition, the Vatican signed the U.N. Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime of November 2000. (Convention, UNODC website, (last visited Jan. 26, 2012).) The UNODC website says of this agreement that ratifying states:

commit themselves to taking a series of measures against transnational organized crime, including the creation of domestic criminal offences (participation in an organized criminal group, money laundering, corruption and obstruction of justice); the adoption of new and sweeping frameworks for extradition, mutual legal assistance and law enforcement cooperation; and the promotion of training and technical assistance for building or upgrading the necessary capacity of national authorities. (Id.)

In a statement about the three actions, the Vatican said that it intends to contribute moral support to the three Conventions and that the “instruments of penal and judicial cooperation, such as those envisaged by the aforementioned Conventions, play an important role in realising an effective safeguard against criminal activities which jeopardise human dignity and peace.” (Vatican OK's Moves on Drugs, Organised Crime, Terrorism, supra.)