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Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel
New York, 1994
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  A dramatic increase in killings of United Nations and associated personnel taking part in UN operations inspired the adoption of this Convention. Its purpose is to strengthen the legal protection given to these people, to prevent attacks against them, and to punish those who commit such attacks.

Key Provisions

  The Convention prohibits any attack against United Nations and associated personnel and premises. It requires countries that are party to the Convention to be responsible for taking necessary measures to guarantee the safety and security of these people. The Convention criminalizes any of the following acts against upon the person or liberty of UN and associated personnel, their official premises, private quarters or means of transportation:

  • murder
  • kidnapping
  • other attacks
  • a threat or attempt to commit any such act

  Countries that are party to the Convention must make these acts punishable by law with penalties that take into account the grave nature of these acts.

  The Convention puts into effect the principle of "prosecute or extradite": Each country that is party to the Convention must either prosecute the offender present in its territory, or extradite him to any other Convention country that has jurisdiction over him.

  The Convention applies to United Nations operations as well as to United Nations and associated personnel, and defines all three terms.

  • "United Nations operation": an operation established by the relevant part of the UN in accordance with the UN Charter, and conducted under UN authority and control to maintain or restore international peace and security; or where the Security Council or General Assembly has declared that the safety of personnel participating in the operation is at great risk.
  • "United Nations personnel": people engaged or put in place by the UN Secretary-General as members of a United Nations operation, and other officials and experts on mission for the UN or its specialized agencies, in an official capacity in the area where a UN operation is being conducted.
  • "United Nations Associated Personnel" is defined three ways:

    -people assigned by a government or intergovernmental organization, with the agreement of the relevant part of the United Nations

    -people engaged by the UN Secretary-General or by a specialized agency

    -people put in place by a humanitarian nongovernmental organization or agency, under an agreement with the UN Secretary-General or a specialized agency, to carry out activities in support of a UN operation.

  UN operations authorized by the Security Council as enforcement actions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, in which any personnel are combatants against armed forces, and which come under the law of international armed conflict, are excluded from the scope of the Convention. Enforcement actions carried out in situations of internal armed conflict, however, are included in the scope of the Convention and subject to its protection.

  Members of UN operations excluded from the scope of application of the Convention are not denied all protection: In times of armed conflict they are protected—and bound—by relevant international humanitarian law. Nothing in the Convention will affect the relevance of international humanitarian law to protection of UN operations and UN and Associated Personnel, or the responsibility of these personnel to respect such law and standards.

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