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Holy See to adhere to 1970s UN treaty

CWN - September 28, 2012

The Holy See has announced that it will adhere to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, a treaty was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1973 and went into force in 1977. The United States Senate ratified the treaty in 1976.

“In taking this step, both in its own name and on behalf of Vatican City State, the Holy See has declared that it intends to contribute further to the global efforts to prevent and combat crimes against diplomats,” said Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

“This decision demonstrates not only the Holy See's desire to cooperate in protecting adequately the diplomatic personnel,” the Holy See Press Office said in a statement, “but it also contributes to the international community’s efforts to protect itself against the risks of terrorism.”

“This initiative is in line with the well-known process, that began some time ago, which aims at adapting the Vatican legal system to the highest international standards related to the fight against this serious scourge,” the statement added.

Article 13.2 of the treaty allows signatories to opt out of Article 13.1 of the treaty, a provision that refers disputes first to arbitration and then to the International Court of Justice. The Holy See elected to opt out of Article 13.1.

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