Appendix 5.5 of the International Associations Statutes Series vol 1, UIA eds (1988)
The General Assembly of the United Nations, on 14 December 1973, approved for signature the text of a Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons (including Diplomatic Agents) (1). Amongst other categories, this covers ["any official or other agent of an international organization of an intergovernmental character"] (Article 1). The Convention came into force 20 February 1977. The text is reproduced below.
The need for this Convention raises the question of the vulnerability of officials and other agents of international non-governmental organizations to crimes indicated therein and the nature of the protection offered to them under existing arrangements. This question is clearly of some relevance to officials of international NGOs who are required to travel extensively or who are involved in projects, such as disaster relief, in countries where they are at greater risk.
The status of the personnel and volunteers of national and international organizations in the course of humanitarian action was the subject of a Round Table organized by the Institut International de Droit Humanitaire de San Remo, the Monaco Red Cross and the Commission Médico-Juridique de Monaco (Monaco, April 1987). In his introductory report Eric Suy, Former Director-General of the European Office of the United Nations, emphasized the problem of the protection of agents of humanitarian organizations engaged in aid operations, whether in time of conflict or in time of peace. After reviewing the various legal instruments and procedures offering some measure of protection he demonstrated the inadequacy of such protection. This fails to cover the full range of situations which tend to occur. Various solutions were proposed. The participants reaffirmed the necessity for a precise legal status for such personnel and volunteers and concluded that it was necessary to adapt existing provisions such as the principles and rules for relief actions of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in time of disaster. They also concluded that it was necessary to examine the legal status of the personnel of international humanitarian organizations. (2)
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents
The States Parties to this Convention,
Having in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations concerning the maintenance of international peace and the promotion of friendly relations and co-operation among States,
Considering that crimes against diplomatic agents and other internationally protected persons jeopardizing the safety of these persons create a serious threat to the maintenance of normal international relations which are necessary for co-operation among States,
Believing that the commission of such crimes is a matter of grave concern to the international community,
Convinced that there is an urgent need to adopt appropriate and effective measures for the prevention and punishment of such crimes,
Having agreed as follows:
For the purposes of this Convention:
1. "internationally protected person" means:
(a) a Head of State, including any member of a collegial body performing the functions of a Head of State under the constitution of the State concerned, a Head of Government or a Minister for Foreign Affairs, whenever any such person is in a foreign State, as well as members of his family who accompany him;
(b) any representative or official of a State or any official or other agent of an international organization of an intergovernmental character who at the time when and in the place where a crime against him, his official premises, his private accommodation or his means of transport is committed, is entitled pursuant to international law to special protection from any attack on his person, freedom or dignity, as well as members of his family forming part of his household;
2. "alleged offender" means a person as to whom there is sufficient
evidence to determine prima facie that he has committed or participated in one or more of the crimes set forth in article 2.
1. The intentional commission of:
(a) A murder, kidnapping or other attack upon the person or liberty of an internationally protected person;
(b) a violent attack upon the official premises, the private accommodation or the means of transport or an internationally protected person likely to endanger his person or liberty;
(c) a threat to commit any such attack;
(d) an attempt to commit any such attack; and
(e) an act constituting participation as an accomplice in any such attack
shall be made by each State Party a crime under its internal law.
2. Each State Party shall make these crimes punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article in no way derogate from the obligations of States Parties under international law to take all appropriate measures to prevent other attacks on the person, freedom or dignity of an internationally protected person.
1. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the crimes set forth in article 2 in the following cases:
(a) when the crime is committed in the territory of that State or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;
(b) when the alleged offender is a national of that State;
(c) when the crime is committed against an internationally protected person as defined in article 1 who enjoys his status as such by virtue of functions which he exercises on behalf of that State.
2. Each State Party shall likewise take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over these crimes in cases where the alleged offender is present in its territory and it does not extradite him pursuant to article 8 to any of the States mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article.
3. The Convention does not exclude any criminal jurisdiction exercised in accordance with internal law.
States Parties shall co-operate in the prevention of the crimes set forth in article 2, particular by:
(a) taking all practicable measures to prevent preparations in their respective territories for the commission of those crimes within or outside their territories;
(b) exchanging information and co-ordinating the taking of administrative and other measures as appropriate to prevent the commission of those crimes.
1. The State Party in which any of the crimes set forth in article 2 has been committed shall, if it has reason to believe that an alleged offender has fled from its territory, communicate to all other States concerned, directly or through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, all the pertinent facts regarding the crime committed and all available information regarding the identity of the alleged offender.
2. Whenever any of the crimes set forth in article 2 has been committed against an internationally protected person, any State Party which has information concerning the victim and the circumstances of the crime shall endeavour to transmit it, under the conditions provided for in its internal law, fully and promptly to the State Party on whose behalf he was exercising his functions.
1. Upon being satisfied that the circumstances so warrant, the State Party in whose territory the alleged offender is present shall take the appropriate measures under its internal law so as to ensure his presence for the purpose of prosecution or extradition. Such measures shall be notified without delay directly or through the Secretary-General of the United Nations to:
(a) the State where the crime was committed;
(b) the State or States of which the alleged offender is a national or, if he is a stateless person, in whose territory he permanently resides;
(c) the State or States of which the internationally protected person concerned is a national or on whose behalf he was exercising his functions; (d) all other States concerned; and
(e) the international organization of which the internationally protected person concerned is an official or an agent.
2. Any person regarding whom the measures referred to in paragraph 1 of this article are being taken shall be entitled:
(a) to communicate without delay with the nearest appropriate representative of the State of which he is a national or which is otherwise entitled to protect his rights or, if he is a stateless person, which he requests and which is willing to protect his rights; and
(b) to be visited by a representative of that State.
The State party is whose territory the alleged offender is present shall, if it does not extradite him, submit, without exception whatsoever and without undue delay, the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution, through proceedings in accordance with the laws of that State.
1. To the extent that the crimes set forth in article 2 are not listed as extraditable offences in any extradition treaty existing between States Parties, they shall be deemed to be included as such therein. States Parties undertake to include those crimes as extraditable offences in every future extradition treaty to be concluded between them.
2. If a State Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another State Party with which it has no extradition treaty, it may, if it decides to extradite, consider this Convention as the legal basis for extradition in respect of those crimes. Extradition shall be subject to the procedural provisions and the other conditions of the law of the requested State.
3. States Parties which do not make extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty shall recognize those crimes as extraditable offences between themselves subject to the procedural provisions and the other conditions of the law of the requested State.
4. Each of the crimes shall be treated, for the purpose of extradition between States Parties, as if it had been committed not only in the place in which it occurred but also in the territories of the States required to establish their jurisdiction in accordance with paragraph 1 of article 3.
Any person regarding whom proceedings are being carried out in connexion with any of the crimes set forth in article 2 shall be guaranteed fair treatment at all stages of the proceedings.
1. States Parties shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connexion with criminal proceedings brought in respect of the crimes set forth in article 2, including the supply of all evidence at their disposal necessary for the proceedings.
2. The provisions of paragraph 1 of this article shall not affect obligations concerning mutual judicial assistance embodied in any other treaty.
The State Party where an alleged offender is prosecuted shall communicate the final outcome of the proceedings to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit the information to the other States Parties.
The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the application of the Treaties on Asylum, in force at the date of the adoption of this Convention, as between the States which are parties to those Treaties; but a State Party to this Convention may not invoke those Treaties with respect to another State Party to this Convention which is not a party to those Treaties.
1. Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention which is not settled by negotiation shall, at the request of one of them, be submitted to arbitration. If within six months from the date of the request for arbitration the parties are unable to agree on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those parties may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice by request in conformity with the Statute of the Court.
2. Each State Party may at the time of signature or ratification of this Convention or Accession thereto declare that it does not consider itself bound by paragraph 1 of this article. The other States Parties shall not be bound by paragraph 1 of this article with respect to any State Party which has made such a reservation.
3. Any State Party which has made a reservation in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article may at any time withdraw that reservation by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
This Convention shall be open for signature by all States, until 31 December 1974 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
This Convention is subject to ratification. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
This Convention shall remain open for accession by any State. The instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit of the twenty-second instrument of ratification or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the twenty-second instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.
1. Any State Party may denounce this Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. Denunciation shall take effect six months following the date on which notification is received by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States, inter alia:
(a) of signatures to this Convention, of the deposit of instruments of ratification or accession in accordance with articles 14, 15 and 16 and of notifications made under article 18.
(b) of the date on which this Convention will enter into force in accordance with article 17.
The original of this Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall send certified copies thereof to all States.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have signed this Convention, opened for signature at New York on 14 December 1973.
1. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents / Convention sur la Prévention et la Répression des Infractions contre les Personnes jouissant d'une Protection Internationale, y compris les Agents Diplomatiques. (Came into force 20 Feb 1977)
2. Comité International de la Croix-Rouge. Table Ronde sur le statut du personnel et des volontaires des organisations internationales et nationales dans les actions humanitaires. [Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge], 69, juillet-août 1987, no 766, pp. 454-456 (also English version in [International Review of the Red Cross]).