The Holy See joined the UN Convention against Corruption. On 19 September last year, at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, in fact, the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, deposited the tools to join the Convention that, for the Holy See and the Vatican, will come into force on 19th October. In an article pubbluicato L’Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Paul Gallagher remembers that Pope Francis has denounced “corruption as a scourge of society and called to actively fight it.” The Pope, said the Secretary for Relations with States, has therefore determined that the Holy See and the Vatican State “to adjust to the most authoritative international standards to prevent corruption, both in the exercise of public functions and in the economic field”. Mgr. Gallagher recalled that the so-called Merida Convention against Corruption is “the main global instrument for preventing and combating crimes committed in the civil service.”
In particular, he said, the states that have ratified the Convention are required to “prosecute and punish” all forms of corruption, “active and passive”, and provides a “detailed regulatory framework to facilitate judicial assistance among Member States through extradition, requests for assistance, the return of illegally acquired property, technical assistance, exchange of information”. The prelate recalled that the Holy See has already adopted legal tools for that purpose, to prevent and investigate all cases of corruption and to propose to the competent authorities to adopt appropriate policies to combat crime.
On the other hand, he observes Msgr. Gallagher, “in the future, the competent offices of the Roman Curia and of the State of Vatican City will have to review their administrative procedures in the light of the parameters contained in this Convention, in order to ensure the necessary compliance”. Finally, concludes the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, we hope that the fact that the Holy See joined the Mérida Convention “will contribute to the efforts of the international community to ensure transparency and good rule”.