[Stop-traffic] News/UN: UN "MILESTONE" CONFERENCE TO EFFECTIVELY COMBAT ORGANIZED CRI

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/UN: UN "MILESTONE" CONFERENCE TO EFFECTIVELY COMBAT ORGANIZED CRI
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun Nov 26 2000 - 21:54:34 EST


21Nov00 AUSTRIA: UN "MILESTONE" CONFERENCE TO EFFECTIVELY COMBAT ORGANIZED
CRIME.
Vienna (APA) - A "milestone" conference in Palermo from December 12 to 15
will pave the way to effectively combatting organized crime, said a UN
spokesman here on Tuesday. Bilateral accords had long since lost effect
against such internationally-planned crimes as money-laundering,
trafficking in human beings, and dealing in human organs. At the conference
in Sicily, many nations would gather to sign a Convention adopted by the UN
General Assembly in New York on November 15, said spokesman Sandro Tucci of
the Organization of Drugs Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP). The
Convention against organized crime would go into force and be legally
binding when it had been ratified by 40 UN members, said Tucci. It commits
governments to align with each other the punishments in their national
legislations for membership of a criminal group, money-laudering,
corruption, and obstruction of justice. Also included are programs for the
protection of witnesses, and steps facilitating cross-border police and
justice action against criminals. Italian diplomat Tucci, of the
Vienna-based ODCCP, said: "The site (of the December meeting) was of course
not chosen by coincidence." "Sicily is seen as the country of origin of the
Mafia. We want to make a sign that Italy and Sicily cannot be automatically
equated with the Mafia." Taking part in Palermo would be UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan, the Italian president and prime minister as hosts, more
than 15 heads of state and government, and numerous justice ministers from
all over the world. During the conference, an anti-Mafia documentation
center would be inaugurated in the small Sicilian town of Corleone. The
town was the home of many suspected and convicted Mafia bosses, and was
considered a center of organized crime in Italy.
(c) APA NEWS SERVICE - Summary of News and Information in and about Austria
(English Language).
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