Giovanni Falcone was an Italian magistrate who dedicated his life to the fight against organized crime. Moved by an extraordinary sense of duty, he developed an innovative investigative method to “follow the money” in financial investigations involving banks and financial institutions in Italy and abroad. This approach was conducive to identifying the movement of suspicious assets and establishing their links to organized crime activities and is still followed internationally to tackle organized crime.
Giovanni Falcone was also one of the earliest advocates of international cooperation in the fight against organized crime. Just a few weeks before his assassination on 23 May 1992, he had participated in Vienna in the first session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, established by the United Nations General Assembly. It was the first session of a United Nations body with a specific mandate to tackle crime, which sowed the seeds for more concerted efforts in the fight against organized crime at the international level.
With a significant role and contribution of the Fondazione Giovanni e Francesca Falcone in its preparation, the World Ministerial Conference on Organized Transnational Crime, held in Naples in November 1994, was a key milestone in paving the way to the negotiation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). Building on consultations which were also supported by the Fondazione Giovanni e Francesca Falcone, the Ad Hoc Committee entrusted by the General Assembly to support the negotiations for the elaboration of the Convention and the Protocols thereto, started its work in January 1999. In less than two years, the Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly and opened for signature by Member States at a High-level Political Conference in Palermo, Italy, on 12-15 December 2000.
Also known as the “Palermo Convention”, the first global legally binding instrument against transnational organized crime, also containing a definition of "organized criminal group", entered into force in September 2003, eleven years after Judge Falcone´s tragic loss.
This year, on the 20th anniversary of its adoption and opening for signature, it enjoys almost universal adherence with 190 parties to it.
The Convention is to be supported by a mechanism for reviewing its implementation in the coming years.
Despite Giovanni Falcone’s loss, his vision lives on.
Fondazione Falcone website - www.fondazionefalcone.it