UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) presented with portrait-sized engraving of Judge Giovanni Falcone by the Italian government
Vienna, 6 May 2016 - In a ceremony at the United Nations Office in Vienna today, hosted by the Italian Government, the international community offered a warm tribute to murdered Italian Judge Giovanni Falcone, who dedicated his life to fighting organized crime.
Judge Falcone, in April 1992, took part in the very first meeting of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, established by the UN General Assembly, which raised the alarm about the rise of transnational crime. One month later, on 23 May, Judge Falcone, along with his wife Francesca Morvillo and three policemen, Rocco Dicillo, Antonio Montinaro and Vito Schifani, were killed in a roadside bomb blast.
"We pay tribute to a man who stands for so much of what we try to achieve here at UNODC, and whose life and work have inspired and informed the means we still use to carry on his commitment," said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov in his opening remarks.
The UNODC Chief said that Judge Falcone's insights, formed by his long battle with organized crime in Italy, had led to greater international cooperation, financial investigations, witness protection; and the return of proceeds to the people and communities victimized by criminals. "These are the tried and true tools of our collective fight against organized crime," he said.
"If his enemies hoped that by ending his life they also ended his life's work, they were very wrong, said Mr. Fedotov. "His assassination galvanized the international community. The General Assembly endorsed Italy's proposal to host the first international conference on transnational organized crime."
More than 10 years later, the Palermo Convention came into force in December 2003. The Convention today has 186 parties, and underpins global action against organized crime by promoting international cooperation against the criminals.
The engraving of Judge Giovanni Falcone will be hung in the corridor outside the office of the UNODC Executive Director and will serve as a reminder of his lifelong work and legacy which continues to drive international efforts against transnational organized crime.
Other high-profile speakers at the event included the Minister of Justice of Italy, Andrea Orlando, the Under-Secretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, Benedetto Della Vedova, National Anti-mafia and Anti-terrorism Chief Prosecutor of Italy Franco Roberti, and Judge Falcone's sister Maria Falcone, who is President of the Giovanni e Francesca Falcone Foundation.
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