Friday, 13th November 2009.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) welcomes the resolution on "Organized Crime"
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) welcomes the resolution on "Organized Crime" presented by Hon. Angela Napoli, member of the Italian delegation to PAM, and adopted by consensus on 23 October 2009 at its 4th Plenary Session in Istanbul, Turkey.
The fight against criminal organizations is a critical issue as they represent a major threat to stability, prosperity and peace within the Mediterranean basin. PAM is committed towards focusing not only on this question, but also delving into the deliberate sinking of vessels carrying toxic waste in the Mediterranean Sea. Such activity is not only forbidden by the "Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft", adopted in Oslo in 1972, which prohibits such actions, but is also a crime condemned by all national legislatures.
This practice is carried out by criminal organizations because waste disposal, particularly that of toxic materials, which are dangerous and pose serious health risks, is a lucrative business with considerable gains. Criminal organizations make additional profits through this activity as they are also often able to recover extra money from the ship's insurance. These vessels are in fact scrap ships that are insured for greater value.
PAM is committed to studying in detail all the steps of this process to find a regional solution to this trans-border plague. To achieve this goal, PAM will make use of the experience and the collaboration of its delegates and of national experts, and will give due consideration to all ideas from different sources to find an operative solution for the benefit of all the countries and people of the Mediterranean.
The fight against criminal organizations with regards to the deliberate dumping of toxic waste has, so far, several obscure elements to be clarified: the number of ships sunk and the areas chosen to make them disappear; the actors involved in trafficking and the nature of the cargo. It is necessary to obtain more information on these elements in order to outline effective actions.
PAM strongly believes that a solution must be found at the regional level, as the trafficking of toxic waste involves many players, who, in some cases, are not even directly linked to the Mediterranean region. The trafficking of waste, not only toxic, guarantees a remarkable amount of money, which is often then immediately laundered and pumped into other illegal businesses, such as the trafficking of arms and drugs.
Through the knowledge and collective capabilities of its members, PAM will act to strengthen the fight against these practices, which not only affect the entire Mediterranean but are also a threat to
the environment, the health of the populations and the economic potential of the countries of the region, with no discrimination between North, South, East and West.
Ends//mm
PAM Public Affairs & Communications - Palazzo Spinola St. Julians, Malta  

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