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Republic of San Marino

San Marino has no regular military forces; Voluntary Military Force (Corpi Militari Voluntar) performs ceremonial duties and limited police support functions. San Marino is an active player in the international community. Currently, the Republic has diplomatic relations with over 70 countries. Italy is the only country represented by an ambassador resident in San Marino. The Papal Nuncio, based in Rome, is the dean of San Marino's diplomatic corps.

San Marino is a full member of the United Nations (UN), International Court of Justice (ICJ), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organization (WHO), World Tourism Organization (WTO), Council of Europe, International Red Cross Organization, the International Institution for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIIT), and Interpol, among others. It also cooperates with UNICEF and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and has official relations with the European Union (EU). From May-November 1990 and from November 2006-May 2007, San Marino held the semi-annual presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, headquartered in Strasbourg, France.

San Marino is a multi-party democratic republic. The two main parties are the Christian Democratic Party of San Marino (PDCS), and the Party of Socialists and Democrats (PSD), in addition to several other smaller parties. Due to the small size and low population of San Marino, it is difficult for any party to gain a pure majority, and most of the time the government is run by a coalition.

The 31,242 population (December 2008) of San Marino is comprised of native Sammarinese and Italian citizens. Crop farming, sheep farming, and the working of stone from the quarries formed the early backbone of San Marino's economy. It has no mineral resources, and today most of the land is cultivated or covered by woods.

According to tradition, San Marino was founded in AD 301 when a Christian stonemason named Marinus the Dalmatian fled to the island of Arbe to escape the anti-Christian Roman Emperor Diocletian. Marinus hid on the peak of Mount Titano and founded a small community of people following their Christian beliefs. It is certain that the area had been inhabited since prehistoric times, although evidence of existence on Mount Titano only dates back to the Middle Ages. In memory of the stonecutter, the land was renamed "Land of San Marino" and was finally changed to its present-day name, "Republic of San Marino."

The original government structure was composed of a self-governed assembly known as the Arengo, which consisted of the heads of each family. In 1243, the positions of Captains Regent (Capitani Reggenti) were established to be the joint heads of state. The land area of San Marino consisted only of Mount Titano until 1463, at which time the republic entered into an alliance against Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, who was later defeated. As a result, Pope Pius II Piccolomini gave San Marino the towns of Fiorentino, Montegiardino, and Serravalle. Later that year, the town of Faetano joined the republic on its own accord. Since then, the size of San Marino has remained unchanged.

San Marino has been occupied by foreign militaries twice in its history, both for only short periods of time. In 1503, Cesare Borgia, known as Valentino, occupied the republic until his death several months later. In 1739, Cardinal Alberoni used military force to occupy the country. Civil disobedience was used to protest his occupation, and clandestine notes sent to the Pope to obtain justice were answered by the Pope's recognition of San Marino's rights and restoration of San Marino's independence.




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