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Sixty-seventh session

Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives
(Agenda item 81)

Summary of work

Background (source: A/67/100)

This item was included in the agenda of the thirty-fifth session of the General Assembly, in 1980, at the request of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden (A/35/142).

The General Assembly considered the item annually at its thirty-sixth to forty-third sessions, and biennially thereafter (resolutions 36/33, 37/108, 38/136, 39/83, 40/73, 41/78, 42/154, 43/167, 45/39, 47/31, 49/49, 51/156, 53/97, 55/149, 57/15, 59/37, 61/31 and 63/126).

At its sixty-fifth session, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly at its sixty-seventh session a report containing information on the state of ratification of and accessions to the instruments relevant to the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives and a summary of the reports received from States on serious violations involving diplomatic and consular missions and representatives and actions taken against offenders, as well as of the views of States with respect to any measures needed or already taken to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives (resolution 65/30).

 
Consideration at the sixty-seventh session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 15th, 16th, 24th and 25th meetings, on 22, 24 October 9 and 16 November 2012 (see A/C.6/67/SR.15, 16, 24 and 25).

Statements were made by the representatives of: Chile (on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), the European Union (also on behalf of its Member States; the Acceding Country Croatia, the Candidate Countries of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Iceland and Serbia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, and Georgia who aligned themselves with this statement), Finland (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, El Salvador, Canada, Cuba, the United States of America, India, the Syrian Arab Republic, Israel, Bahrain, the Russian Federation, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Iran (Islamic Republic of). A statement was also made by the representative of the Sudan in the exercise of the right of reply.

Delegations welcomed the Secretary-General’s report on the topic (A/67/126 and A/67/126/Add.1). They strongly condemned the continuing acts of violence against the security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and their representatives, including the recent terrorist attack on the United States mission and personnel in Libya, urged States to respect their obligations under international law and to take all the necessary measures in order to protect the diplomatic and consular missions and the representatives within their territories. A reference was also made to the need to protect missions and representatives of international organizations. Some delegations stressed that the breaches by the States of the obligations in this field entail an obligation to take remedial actions. Some delegations emphasized the need and responsibility to take preventive measures.

Some speakers welcomed the progress in the participation of States in relevant instruments and stressed the need for those States that have not already done so to become parties to such instruments.

The importance of respecting the laws of the receiving States was emphasized. A point was also made that, while diplomatic and consular representatives should respect the laws of the receiving States, the failure to adhere to them should not be invoked as a justification for not respecting the obligation of the receiving States to protect diplomatic and consular premises and representatives.

Delegations reiterated their commitment to their obligations in this field. Some delegations expressed their condolences in connection with the recent tragic deaths of the diplomatic and consular staff of the United States of America in Libya, including the Ambassador. A reference was made to relevant measures which had been taken in this connection and it was promised to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. A point was made that the accusations in connection with the alleged involvement of one State in the activities aimed against foreign diplomats were groundless and represented an unacceptable political campaign. A view was expressed stressing the need to pursue accuracy and carefully consider all circumstances surrounding such events as the unlawful acts against the United States Embassy in Cairo in September 2012 before calling for a certain action. It was stated, in this connection, that all the necessary measures to protect the United States Embassy in Cairo and to prosecute those who had breached the law had been already taken.

 
Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 24th meeting, on 9 November, the representative of Finland, also on behalf of Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives” (A/C.6/67/L.10). Subsequently, Greece, Malta, Slovakia and Uruguay joined in sponsoring the draft resolution. At its 25th meeting, on 16 November, the Committee adopted the draft resolution without a vote.

Under this draft resolution, the General Assembly would request the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly at its sixty-ninth session a report containing information on the state of ratification of and accessions to the instruments relevant to the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives; and a summary of the reports received from States on serious violations of the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives as well as missions and representatives with diplomatic status to international intergovernmental organizations and actions taken against offenders, as well as of the views of States with respect to any measures needed to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives as well as missions and representatives with diplomatic status to international intergovernmental organizations. The General Assembly would urge States to report to the Secretary-General in a concise and expeditious manner and in accordance with the guidelines prepared by the Secretary-General.

This agenda item will be considered next at the sixty-ninth session (2014).

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A/67/126 - Full texts of replies
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (English)
Kyrgyz Republic (English)
Jordan (Original: Arabic) (English)
United Arab Emirates (English)
Iraq (Original: Arabic) (English)
Panama (Original: Spanish) (English)
United Kingdom (English)
Austria (English)
Qatar (English)
Belgium (Original: French) (English)
Greece (English)
Burkina Faso (Original: French) (English)
Iran (English)
United Kingdom (English)
Republic of Slovenia (English)
Sweden (English)
Australia (English)
Finland (English)

A/67/126/Add.1 - Full texts of replies
Syrian Arab Republic (Original: Arabic) (English)
Switzerland (Original: French) (English)
Chile (Original: Spanish) (English)
Italy (English)
Germany (English)
Austria (English)
Cuba (Original: Spanish)(English)
Greece (English)
Greece (English)
Turkey (English)
Belgium (Original: French)(English)
Poland (English)

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A/69/... - Full texts of replies

Algeria (Original: French) (English)
Qatar (English)
Syrian Arab Republic (Original: Arabic) (English)
Philippines (English)
Saudi Arabia (Original: Arabic) (English)
Saudi Arabia (English)
Saudi Arabia (English)
Saudi Arabia (English)
Iran (English)
El Salvador (Original: Spanish)
Gabon (Original: French)
Finland (English)
Qatar (Original: English/Arabic)