AM 2010 Palermo bigOver 200 parliamentarians from 50 countries participated in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Ninth Fall Meetings in Palermo, Sicily, from 8-11 October 2010. Hosted by the Italian Parliament, the Fall Meetings included a Conference on "The Fight against Transnational Organized Crime and Corruption," as well as meetings of the Mediterranean Forum and Standing Committee.

Featured speakers included OSCE PA President Petros Efthymiou (Greece), OSCE PA Vice-President and head of the Italian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly, Riccardo Migliori, OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, and Kanat Saudabayev, Kazakhstan's Minister of Foreign Affairs and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.

2010-FM-Palermo-Panel-Opening-SessionSpeakers from Italy included Francesco Cascio, President of the Sicilian Regional Assembly, and the Presidents of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and Senate, Gianfranco Fini and Renato Schifani, as well as several Cabinet ministers. Also participating were representatives of Italy's National Anti-Mafia Bureau, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Transparency International and Interpol.

Delegates from the parliaments in Israel, Algeria and Morocco also participated, primarily in the sessions of the Mediterranean Forum, which dealt with economic and infrastructure co-operation in the Mediterranean basin, and cultural and environmental co-operation as an expression of the Mediterranean civilization.

The conference on organized crime and corruption included discussions on human trafficking and an in-depth look at the ten years since the adoption of the UN's Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in Palermo, also known as the Palermo Convention.

Addressing the session on the Palermo Convention were Sandra Valle from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Carlo Vizzini, former OSCE PA Special Representative for the Fight against Transnational Organized Crime, Piero Grasso, Chief Prosecutor of the National Anti-Mafia Bureau, and Mario Morcone, Director of the Italian Agency on the Seizure of Assets from Organized Crime.

In his conclusions of the meetings, President Efthymiou emphasized the importance of moving beyond national approaches in dealing with criminal groups and instead making the fight against crime a genuinely transnational fight in which all can take part. "The OSCE can and must step up its role in tackling crime and corruption", he said, "which pose very real threats to the security of our populations."