UN Opens Conference to Fight International Crime
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi opened a high-level conference on international crime Tuesday with a minute of silence for those killed by organized crime groups.
Host Ciampi urged world leaders to fight what he called "the most insidious form of crime," as he opened proceedings in Palermo, a one-time hotbed of Mafia violence.
The conference, which gathers leaders from 154 out of more than 180 UN member states, will begin the process of signing states up to a UN treaty that outlaws international organized crime and sets standards for domestic laws to effectively fight cross-border syndicates.
Annan called the convention "a milestone in the struggle for the rule of law" and said it would "answer a global challenge with a global response."
He said international organized crime was "an uncivil society," was "powerful and represented entrenched interests."
But "they are not invincible," Annan said -- PALERMO (AFP)
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