World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Treaty To Protect UN Humanitarian Personnel

Governments asked to ratify treaty protecting UN humanitarian personnel

25 June 2008 - The head of the United Nations staff union and the top UN legal official today called on governments to join a legal instrument designed to protect humanitarian personnel around the world.

At a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York, Staff Union President Stephen Kisambira and UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel presented a certificate to diplomats from the 14 countries that have ratified the Optional Protocol to the 1994 Convention on the Safety of UN and Associated Personnel.

The countries are Austria, Botswana, Gabon, Germany, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Tunisia.

"Your ratification was a significant step," Mr. Kisambira said. "It will enhance security of staff worldwide. I encourage all Member States to follow your lead. Security of UN personnel is a global responsibility."

The 2005 Optional Protocol provides legal protection to staff delivering emergency humanitarian assistance and to those providing political and development assistance in peacebuilding. It extends the legal protection offered by the 1994 Convention, which only applies to personnel engaged in peacekeeping operations. The Convention has been ratified by 84 Member States, or 43 per cent of the UN membership.

The Optional Protocol is not yet in force, as eight ratifications are still required for its coming into effect.

"Rather than focusing only on Member States that did not ratify, I would like to value and appreciate those that did," Mr. Michel said. "The Optional Protocol is important because it reflects the evolution of realities on the ground. It acknowledges the role of staff who work on the ground, often in very dangerous circumstances."

"Do a little boasting, and tell your colleagues in the General Assembly that it would be a good idea to join in," he said, thanking the diplomatic community in New York for its role, "because of course the capitals follow what is happening here, but you are the ones who take the lead."

The ceremony was organized by the UN Staff Council Standing Committee on the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service.


Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>