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Item 84 Consideration of Effective Measures to Enhance the Protection, Security and Safety of Diplomatic and Consular Mission and Representative

Statement by the Permanent Representative of the El Salvador to the United Nations On behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)

October 16

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC.

CELAC would like to thank the Secretary General for his report (A/73/189), which contains information provided by Member States in accordance with the provisions of Resolution 71/145

This agenda item deals with a central issue for the development of peaceful and constructive relations among States. The protection of diplomatic and consular representatives, as well as the security and inviolability of diplomatic and consular missions, their archives, documents and communications, are one of the pillars upon which international relations rest.

As stated in the preamble of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the recognition of the diplomatic status is not only an ancient tradition, but also relates to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter concerning the sovereign equality of States, the maintenance of peace and security and the promotion of friendly relations among nations. It also recognizes that privileges and immunities ensure the effective performance of the functions undertaken by representatives of States.

CELAC strongly condemns all violations against diplomatic and consular missions and representatives, as well as against missions and representatives of international intergovernmental organizations and officials of such organizations.. We express our solidarity with the victims and stress that such acts can never be justified.

Every transgression on this matter constitutes a serious incident that may ultimately endanger lives, cause damages and adversely affect the promotion of the shared values of the international community. Consequently, under no circumstance should such transgressions go unpunished.

We recall that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, stresses the need to cooperate in order to prevent crimes against any representative or official of a State or any official or other agent of an international organization of an intergovernmental character, as well as against its official premises.

Events alluded to in the report, as well as many others that appeared in the headlines over the last couple of years; remind us that representing a State involves a risk to those who perform this role. These tragedies, which have sometimes even led to the loss of lives, should prompt us to redouble efforts to ensure that the protection and safety of diplomatic and consular representatives, as well as diplomatic and consular missions, remains a priority for all.

Mr. Chairman,

This agenda item was introduced in this Committee’s agenda in 1980. During its consideration, we should keep in mind not only the nature of situations that have been addressed in our deliberations over the last 38 years, but also new challenges faced in the implementation of other equally important aspects of diplomatic and consular immunities, such as the inviolability of archives, documents and communications, including in electronic format.

In this regard, CELAC reiterates its concern about the negative impact that State surveillance and/or interception of communications, including extraterritorially, may have on the inviolability of diplomatic and consular archives, documents and communications. We appreciate the transparent and constructive dialogue on this issue at the 71th Session of the General Assembly and appreciate that Resolution 71/145 recalled that archives, documents and communications of diplomatic and consular missions are inviolable at any time and wherever they may be. We look forward for a continued engagement on this important issue during this 73rd session of the General Assembly.

Mr. Chairman,

CELAC deems essential that all rules and principles of international law pertaining to this issue are observed, especially the 1961 and 1963 Vienna Conventions and relevant UN resolutions. It is equally crucial to ensure that national legislation be strict conformity with international law and does not undermine the respect and protection due to such officials and missions, including their archives, documents and communications. We urge all States to take appropriate measures to prevent violations in this regard, as well as to prevent abuses of privileges and immunities, especially in cases where violence is involved, and to cooperate with the host State in cases where such abuses have been committed.

All disputes concerning compliance with the international obligations in regards to protection of representations and officials and representatives, are resolved by peaceful means, refraining at all times from the use or threat of use of force or any other violation of International Law against persons or premises protected by the Vienna Conventions of 1961 and 1963.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman,

We echo the call contained in Resolution 71/145 upon States that have not yet done so to consider becoming parties to the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations as well as to other relevant instruments.

Thank you.

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