Summary: October 13, 2004: Statement by Ms. Ceta Noland, Legal Counsel, MFA, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN on behalf of the European Union at the 59th SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - 6th COMMITTEE - Item 141: Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate countries Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Turkey, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential Candidate countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Liechtenstein, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.
Any failure to respect the inviolability of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives is a concern for us all. Respect for the principles and rules of international law governing diplomatic and consular relations is essential for relations between States. Normal diplomatic and consular relations facilitate the communication between States and benefit their citizens; friendly relations and co-operation between States contribute to establishing trust between States and concord among peoples. Therefore, ensuring protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives should be a high priority for us all.
Violent incidents involving diplomatic and consular personnel and premises have once again increased over the years. Bombings such as of the Australian and Greek embassies in Jakarta and the attacks on the Netherlands and Jordanian embassies in Baghdad are a reminder of an intolerable situation. The European Union strongly condemns such heinous acts of violence and reiterates that such acts can never be justified and that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
The European Union is convinced that our efforts to enhance the protection, security and safety should continue, if not intensify. We therefore urge States to strictly observe, implement and enforce the provisions of international law governing diplomatic and consular relations and to ensure, in conformity with their international obligations, the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives. Diplomatic and consular relations should be free of all pressure on persons and property alike.
The European Union would also like to emphasise the responsibility of host States. The General Assembly has repeatedly reminded States of their obligation to ensure the protection, safety and security of missions, representatives, and other officials present on their territory in an official capacity, against persons, groups or organisations whose intention it might be to threaten their security. The European Union considers it highly useful to once again reassert this important obligation by a United Nations Resolution, as in 2002 by Resolution 57/15.
The European Union welcomes the report of the Secretary-General (A/59/125), which contains a useful section on reports submitted pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 57/15. The European Union regrets that so few States have complied with the reporting procedures provided for in paragraph 10(b) of the aforementioned Resolution in which the Assembly requests the State in which violations of the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives occurred, to report to the Secretary-General as promptly as possible on measures taken to bring the offender to justice and eventually to communicate, in accordance with its laws, the final outcome of the proceedings against the offender, and to report on measures adopted with a view to preventing a repetition of such violations. We would like to encourage the submission of such reports in the future, and urge States to follow any reporting procedure in this respect.
The Secretary-General's report also gives a good overview of the state of ratification of, and the accession to, multilateral conventions pertaining to protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives. The European Union welcomes the 32 additional States that have become participants to these conventions since the previous report, but considers that the norms contained in these international instruments deserve and should receive universal acceptance. We call again upon all States that have not yet done so to consider becoming parties to these instruments.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
*Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process