NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See declared its intention on Wednesday to contribute further to global efforts to prevent and combat crimes against diplomats, in an act which comes just weeks after United States Ambassador to Libya was killed by protestors during a raid on the US consulate in Benghazi.
This news was announced in a communiqué released by the Holy See, which stated: "On the afternoon of 26 September 2012, H.E. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States, deposited the instrument of accession to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, to the Secretary of the United Nations."
"In taking this step," the communiqué continues, "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."
Established in 1973, the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents requires that State parties make it illegal to attack foreign diplomats, obliging them to extradite or prosecute offenders.
"The instrument of accession," the communiqué goes on to say, "also recalls that the promotion of brotherhood, justice and peace among individuals and peoples is particularly dear to the heart of the Holy See, and that such promotion requires the observance of the rule of law, as well as respect for human rights."
With this act, the Holy See demonstrates not only its "desire to cooperate in protecting adequately the diplomatic personnel (in primis its own and that accredited to it), but it also contributes to the international community’s efforts to protect itself against the risks of terrorism."
"Finally, 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."