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Vatican diplomat calls for enforcement of environmental laws, warns against drug legalization

October 04, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: On October 3, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, apostolic nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed a UN committee meeting on criminal law.

“Crimes that affect the environment, although not always given due attention by law enforcement authorities, may cause enormous harm and exacerbate existing crises,” the prelate said. “Unlawful deforestation, illegal mining, trafficking in wildlife and waste trafficking, and other environmental crimes, have a negative impact.”

“While mindful of the serious concerns related to incarceration of users and petty traffickers, which often are themselves the victims of drug trafficking networks, the Holy See is convinced that those issues can, should, and are already being addressed without legalizing drugs,” he continued, as he turned to the topic of drug abuse. “Drug use is always destructive and cannot be eradicated without serious efforts made to condemn and prevent not only their use and sale, but also the so-called drug culture and its associated behaviors.”

Archbishop Caccia also weighed in on efforts to combat cyber-crimes (such as child pornography and the financing of terrorism). He called for an international treaty that builds consensus on how best to combat these crimes, in a manner that respects “human dignity and universal human rights, including the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.”

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