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Preface

This publication is by no means an exhaustive review of protocol matters and diplomatic etiquette. Its objective is to formulate basic guidelines and fundamental norms and practices of protocol and administrative requirements accepted at United Nations Headquarters.

Much of what is written in the following pages has been gathered over the years from practical experience and common sense successfully applied at the United Nations since its inception. In preparing this manual, important documents such as the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America and legal texts such as United Nations resolutions and other relevant documents have been used. It is recommended that every permanent/observer mission keep a copy of this publication, for it contains important information on administrative and diplomatic procedures, compliance with which will greatly facilitate the activities of the diplomatic community stationed at United Nations Headquarters.

The United Nations Protocol and Liaison Service sincerely hopes that this manual will enhance the co-operation between permanent/observer missions and the Protocol and Liaison Service, which serves the international community at United Nations Headquarters.

Introduction

United Nations Protocol and Liaison Service

Functions and duties


The Protocol and Liaison Service is a branch of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. It is located on the west side of the second floor of the Secretariat building near the low-rise elevator bank, in room S-201 (Tel: 212-963-7172).

In accordance with the mandate given by the Secretary-General to the Protocol and Liaison Service, its basic functions and duties include the following:

(a) To register all diplomatic personnel and support staff of permanent/observer missions, their dependants and household employees, to provide them with proper United Nations building passes, to approve applications for parking decals, to process requests for diplomatic privileges and immunities for diplomatic personnel of permanent missions and to maintain and update files with relevant data on all the members of the permanent/observer missions;

(b) To accredit members of governmental or intergovernmental delegations, representatives of specialized agencies, and associate members of regional commissions participating in the sessions of the General Assembly or other meetings held at Headquarters and to provide them with appropriate building passes;

(c) To assist permanent/observer missions with the preparation of official visits to Headquarters by Heads of State or Government or other dignitaries; to coordinate major official observances such as the presentation of credentials to the Secretary-General by newly appointed Permanent Representatives; to aid permanent/observer missions with the organization of official, cultural and social functions at Headquarters; and to assist with arrangements for flag-raising ceremonies for newly admitted Member States, the observance of official mournings, etc.;

(d) To maintain and update comprehensive lists of the Heads of State or Government and Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the United Nations. These lists are available to permanent/observer missions and delegations;

(e) To publish twice a year an up-to-date comprehensive list (the "Blue Book") of the diplomatic personnel of all permanent/observer missions and the composition of the principal organs of the United Nations. The publication also contains other relevant information for the use of delegations;

(f) To prepare and publish lists of members of delegations to the sessions of the General Assembly from Member States, observer entities, specialized agencies and associate members of regional commissions, and other organizations with the appropriate status;

(g) To advise permanent/observer missions, specialized agencies and the departments/offices of the United Nations Secretariat on matters of protocol usage and practice and norms of diplomatic etiquette accepted at the United Nations; and to provide briefings and lectures on matters of protocol and diplomatic etiquette.

I. Establishing a new mission in New York

When a country has been admitted by the General Assembly as a Member State of the United Nations, it is expected that it will establish a permanent mission at United Nations Headquarters or at other major United Nations centres, such as Geneva or Vienna, and appoint a Permanent Representative. By its resolution 257 A (III), the General Assembly expressed its opinion that the presence of the permanent mission and the Permanent Representative of a Member State at the seat of the Organization would serve to assist in the realization of the purposes and principles of the United Nations and to keep the necessary liaison between the Member States and the Secretariat.

In conformity with international law and United Nations practice, the term "Permanent Representative" has a clear interpretation. At the United Nations, this term was institutionalized by the General Assembly in its resolution 257 A (III) wherein it recommended, inter alia, that credentials of newly appointed Permanent Representatives be issued by either the Head of State or Government or Minister for Foreign Affairs and that in the case of the temporary absence of the Permanent Representative from the seat of the Organization, the Secretary-General of the United Nations be notified of the name of the person who would be in charge of the mission as chargé d'affaires a.i.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that the term "Permanent Representative of a Member State to the United Nations" defines a person of the appropriate diplomatic rank who permanently (as distinct from temporarily) resides at the seat of the organization and is the head of an established permanent representation (mission) with a postal address, a telephone number and an e-mail address.

II. Letters of credentials

On 3 December 1948, the General Assembly adopted resolution 257 A (III) regarding permanent missions of Member States to the United Nations. The resolution reads as follows:

"The General Assembly,

"Considering that, since the creation of the United Nations, the practice has developed of establishing, at the seat of the Organization, permanent missions of Member States,

"Considering that the presence of such permanent missions serves to assist in the realization of the purposes and principles of the United Nations and, in particular, to keep the necessary liaison between the Member States and the Secretariat in periods between sessions of the different organs of the United Nations,


"Considering that in these circumstances the generalization of the institution of permanent missions can be foreseen, and that the submission of credentials of Permanent Representatives should be regulated,

"Recommends

"1. That credentials of the Permanent Representatives shall be issued either by the Head of the State or by the Head of the Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and shall be transmitted to the Secretary-General;

"2. That the appointments and changes of members of the permanent missions other than the Permanent Representative shall be communicated in writing to the Secretary-General by the head of the mission;

"3. That the Permanent Representative, in case of temporary absence, shall notify the Secretary-General of the name of the member of the mission who will perform the duties of head of the mission;

"4. That Member States desiring their Permanent Representatives to represent them on one or more of the organs of the United Nations should specify the organs in the credentials transmitted to the Secretary-General;

"Instructs the Secretary-General to submit, at each regular session of the General Assembly, a report on the credentials of the Permanent Representatives accredited to the United Nations."

The annex to the report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly at its fourth session on permanent missions to the United Nations gave a form of credentials which, in the light of the above resolution, appears to be satisfactory and which, accordingly, is reproduced below as a guide to the drafting of such instruments.

It should be noted that all letters of credentials must be addressed by name to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Standard form of credentials

"Whereas the Government of ... has set up at the seat of the United Nations a permanent mission to maintain necessary contact with the Secretariat of the Organization,

"Now therefore we ... [name and title] have appointed and by these presents do confirm as Permanent Representative to the United Nations His/Her Excellency ... [name] ... [diplomatic rank].

"His/Her Excellency ... is instructed to represent the Government of ... in all organs of the United Nations ... . He/She is also authorized to designate a substitute to act temporarily on his/her behalf after due notice to the Secretary-General.

"In faith whereof we have signed these presents at ... on ...


"[Signature and title]

"[Head of State,Head of Government 
or Minister for Foreign Affairs]"


In accordance with a practice that has been followed for 60 years, Member States elected to the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and the Trusteeship Council are required under the relevant rules of procedure to submit separate credentials for their representatives in each of these organs.

See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fourth Session, Annex to the Summary Records of the Sixth Committee, page 17.

It has become the standard for the Governments of Member States to appoint Permanent Representatives to the United Nations with the rank of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.

III. Appointment of a new Permanent Representative

In appointing a new Permanent Representative, it is not necessary to secure agréments from the Secretary-General. When a new Permanent Representative is appointed to the United Nations, it is advisable that the permanent mission concerned submit, at the earliest opportunity, details of the Permanent Representative's arrival date, means of transport and port of entry into the United States of America to the Permanent Mission of the United States of America to the United Nations, in order that the necessary customs and immigration clearances may be obtained from the United States authorities and arrangements made for extending to him/her, upon arrival, the usual diplomatic courtesies. The Permanent Representative should submit his/her curriculum vitae and a copy of the letter of credentials to the Chief of Protocol as soon as possible, in order that they may be reviewed to ensure that they correspond to the accepted standard.

Upon the arrival of the new Permanent Representative in New York, he/she should arrange an appointment with the Chief of Protocol in order to be briefed on the details of the established procedure for the presentation of credentials to the Secretary-General. After this meeting, the Chief of Protocol will finalize the necessary arrangements, such as fixing the date and time, for the new Permanent Representative to present his/her letter of credentials to the Secretary-General.

The recommended attire for the ceremony of the presentation of credentials is a lounge/business suit, preferably dark, or national dress.

On the day and time agreed upon, the Chief of Protocol will escort the new Permanent Representative to the office of the Secretary-General for the ceremony of the presentation of credentials. He/she may be accompanied by one or two members of his/her delegation. A photographer will take an official portrait of the new Permanent Representative just before the presentation of credentials. The actual presentation will be recorded by the United Nations visual media. Family members are discouraged from attending the presentation of credentials.

It is expected that, at the time of the presentation of credentials, the new Permanent Representative will make a brief statement to the Secretary-General.

A special press release containing biographical data on the new Permanent Representative and announcing his/her presentation of credentials to the Secretary-General will be issued by the Department of Public Information on the same day.

It is customary for a newly appointed Permanent Representative to call on the Presidents of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council and senior officials of the Secretariat. It is suggested that the new Permanent Representative inform all other Permanent Representatives in writing that he/she has presented his/her letter of credentials to the Secretary-General and assumed his/her duties. Apart from that, the Chief of Protocol sends out a memorandum informing all departments of the United Nations of the presentation of credentials of the new Permanent Representative.

As to the procedure of the accreditation of a Permanent Representative of a Member/observer State to the offices of the United Nations at Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut and Santiago a letter of credentials should be addressed, by name, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and presented to his representative at the aforementioned duty stations, who will accept them on his behalf. A copy of the credentials should be forwarded to the Chief of Protocol at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

IV. Letters and notes verbale

All correspondence addressed to the Protocol and Liaison Service at United Nations Headquarters should be addressed to the Chief of Protocol. Diplomatic movements, appointments, promotions, departures, etc., as well as any personnel movements, should be announced in a letter [not a note verbale] addressed to the Secretary-General. Any official communication containing important information regarding the Governments of Member States should also be communicated in a letter by the head of the mission.

Notes verbale addressed to the Protocol and Liaison Service should bear the official seal and the initials of the responsible officer. Such notes are normally used to communicate routine administrative matters other than personnel matters.

V. Registration of members of permanent/observer missions

The names of all members of permanent missions, whether diplomatic or non-diplomatic, and of their families and household employees should, upon their arrival at Headquarters, be communicated to the Protocol and Liaison Service. For this purpose the following documents, as applicable, should be sent to the Protocol and Liaison Service.

(a) Persons with diplomatic status:

     (i)  A registration form (SG.5) signed by the applicant with the mission’s official seal affixed;

     (ii) A letter (not a note verbale) addressed to the Secretary-General signed by the Permanent Representative or chargé d'affaires a.i. stating:

a. Name, diplomatic rank, functional title and date of appointment;

b. Request for privileges and immunities;

c. Order of precedence at the mission;

     (iii) Five colour passport-size photographs for a diplomat and four for a spouse; children of diplomats between the ages of 16 and 21 are also entitled to United States Department of State identification cards, for which purpose two photographs should be provided;

     (iv) Diplomatic passport with a valid arrival/departure record (form I-94) for all members of the diplomat's household;

     (v) An application for a United Nations building pass (form SG.32) for principal and spouse only.

(b) Support and technical staff without diplomatic status (except household employees):

     (i) A registration form (SG.5) signed by the head of chancery or the administrative officer, with the mission’s official seal affixed;

     (ii) A letter (not a note verbale) addressed to the Chief of Protocol and signed by the head of chancery or the administrative officer stating the name, functional title and date of appointment;

     (iii) Four colour passport-size photographs of the staff member, if he/she holds the nationality of the mission in which he/she is employed; staff members holding nationalities other than that of the mission must provide one photograph;

     (iv) Passports of the staff member and all members  of his household, along with valid arrival/departure records (form I-94);

     (v) An application for a United Nations building pass (form SG.32) for the staff member only.

 (c) Household employees:

     (i) A registration form (SG.5) signed by the employer and indicating all family members of the household employee with the mission’s official seal affixed;

     (ii) A letter (not a note verbale) addressed to the Chief of Protocol signed by the head of chancery or the administrative officer stating the name, occupational title and effective date of appointment;

     (iii) A passport with a valid arrival/departure record (form I-94);

     (iv) A copy of the employment contract between the employer and the employee.

(d) Persons with dual accreditation:

When Permanent Representatives of Member States are dually accredited to the United Nations and the United States of America, in addition to the procedures outlined in (a) above, such dual accreditation must be indicated on the registration form (SG.5) after being cleared by the United States Department of State. All other mission personnel, both diplomatic and non-diplomatic, who work simultaneously at the missions and consulates, embassies or other diplomatic, commercial or media representations, should also obtain clearance for dual accreditation from the United States Department of State and submit a copy thereof to the United Nations Protocol and Liaison Service at the time of registration. Those who have dual accreditation will retain their A-1 visa status.

It is important to note the following:

(a) For the registration of a new Permanent Representative, no letter from the mission is required;

(b) United Nations building passes are not issued to children, spouses of non-diplomatic staff members or household employees;

(c) All diplomats and non-diplomats are required to register with the Protocol and Liaison Service all members of their immediate families and their household employees;

(d) The registration form should contain the current private address and telephone number of the person to be registered. The address of the permanent mission as the private address is not acceptable unless the person actually resides there;

(e) Permanent residents of the United States should include their passports and a copy of their alien registration cards along with the registration form (SG.5);

(f) When a staff member is married to another member of a mission who is also employed by the mission, both must be registered separately.

Non-immigrant household employees are granted G-5 visas. If the I-94 forms of those employees are near expiration, employees may apply to the Permanent Mission of the United States of America for extensions prior to the expiration of their authorized stay in the United States. The United States Mission performs that service for G-5 visa holders. There is therefore no need for employees to go directly to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Such extensions require a completed and signed application (form I-539), an arrival and departure record (form I94) and a letter from the employer confirming continuation of employment of the person in question together with a copy of the employment contract.

Interns:

Interns should be registered with the United Nations Protocol like any other member of the Mission and should be at least 18 years of age. Internship is for a short term and the appointment letter must specify the duration of internship and whether or not the intern will be remunerated.  Interns cannot be remunerated unless they have the appropriate visa status.

VI. Diplomatic privileges and immunities


Diplomatic personnel of permanent missions of Member States are entitled to the privileges and immunities laid down in article V, section 15, of the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations ("Headquarters Agreement"), which applies to:

"1. Every person designated by a Member State as the principal Permanent Representative to the United Nations of such Member State or as a Permanent Representative with the rank of ambassador or minister plenipotentiary;

"2. Such resident members of their staff as may be agreed upon between the Secretary-General, the Government of the United States and the Government of the Member concerned;".

The procedure to be followed in this case is as follows:

(a) Permanent Representatives and their spouses do not need to request that special arrangements be made for obtaining diplomatic privileges and immunities. Upon receipt of the registration papers and passports, together with the necessary number of photographs, the Protocol and Liaison Service, on behalf of the Secretary-General, will take the necessary steps to include the names of the Permanent Representatives and their spouses on the list of members of permanent missions with diplomatic privileges and immunities;

(b) Diplomatic personnel of permanent missions who perform diplomatic functions and hold diplomatic rank are entitled to the privileges and immunities mentioned above. Permanent Representatives should, in a letter addressed to the Secretary-General, request that all necessary arrangements be made, specifying the member's diplomatic rank and order of precedence in his/her mission. The Protocol and Liaison Service will not process the applications submitted in the form of a note verbale.

Documents certifying that diplomatic personnel of permanent missions are entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities are issued by the United States Mission to the United Nations within approximately two weeks of the date of the original request.

It is important to note that diplomatic privileges and immunities are not granted to members of diplomatic personnel who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

VII. Categories of United States visas for diplomatic and non-diplomatic members of permanent/observer missions, their families and household employees

In order to avoid complications on the part of the United States immigration authorities, it is necessary that all members of permanent missions, their families and household employees have correct United States visa status.

The appropriate categories of non-immigrant visas are as follows:

(a) G-l status is accorded to diplomatic and non-diplomatic members of missions, representatives of Governments to international organizations recognized by the United States and members of their immediate family;

(b) G-2 status is accorded to temporary members of missions and delegations participating in meetings at United Nations Headquarters and members of their immediate family, as well as unpaid interns and trainees of Permanent Missions;

(c) G-3 status is accorded to members of permanent missions and members of their immediate family whose Governments are not recognized by the United States or whose Governments are not members of the United Nations. G-3 visas are also accorded to representatives of such Governments so as to participate in temporary meetings of designated international organizations;

(d) G-4 status is accorded to members of those observer missions designated as international organizations under the United States International Organizations Immunities Act and members of their immediate family;

(e) G-5 status is accorded to personal employees of G-1, G-2 and G-3 classes and members of their immediate family;

(f) B-1 status is accorded to members of other observer missions.

It should be noted that any status that does not fall under the above-mentioned categories should be referred, through the Protocol and Liaison Service, to the United States Mission to the United Nations for adjustment.

If for any reason the passport of any member of a permanent/observer mission or any of his/her dependants does not contain a visa of an appropriate category or an immigrant visa, the passport, with a valid I-94 form, must be sent prior to the expiration date on the I-94 form, together with a letter signed by the Permanent Representative, to the Protocol and Liaison Service requesting that the necessary adjustment of the visa status be arranged. The Protocol and Liaison Service will forward the request to the United States Mission to the United Nations.

The adjustment of visa status will be reflected on the I-94 form. The procedure takes approximately two to three weeks. The United States Mission to the United Nations will notify missions when the passports can be collected. If the applicant has to travel outside the United States to adjust the visa status, the Permanent Representative should so inform the applicant to apply abroad for the appropriate visa. Once the applicant enters the United States, the permanent/observer mission should notify, through the Protocol and Liaison Service, the United States Mission of the change in status.

VIII. Changes in permanent/observer missions

Changes in Permanent/Observer Missions


All permanent/observer missions are requested to notify the Protocol and Liaison Service in writing of any changes in the address, telephone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses of their office.

All changes and movements affecting diplomatic and non-diplomatic members of the permanent/ observer missions, such as appointments, promotions, changes of designation, departures and changes of address and telephone number (both official and private) should also be communicated by letter as soon as possible to the Secretary-General through the Protocol and Liaison Service.

IX. Temporary absence of a Permanent Representative/Observer from Headquarters

Before absenting himself/herself from the mission for any length of time, a Permanent Representative/ Observer is required, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 257 A (III), to notify the Secretary-General, by a letter signed by the Permanent Representative/Observer, of the name of the member of the mission who will perform the duties of head of the mission in the capacity of charg d'affaires a.i. during the absence of the Permanent Representative/observer.

If the charg d'affaires a.i. is not designated in the aforementioned manner, his/her appointment may not figure in any document of the United Nations and he/she will not be accorded the precedence to which he/she would otherwise be entitled in the official functions in which he/she may participate.

Since a charg d'affaires a.i. cannot appoint himself/herself or another charg d'affaires a.i. should there be several consecutive chargs d'affaires a.i during the absence of the Permanent Representative/Observer, their names and the dates of their respective appointments should be communicated to the Secretary-General by the Permanent Representative/Observer before his/her departure. However, if the Permanent Representative/Observer is already away from New York and it is impossible to obtain a letter from him/her, the appointment of a charg d'affaires a.i. should be made by a letter or telegram from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the country in question to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Permanent Representative/ Observer should also notify the Secretary-General of the date of his/her resumption of duties.

X. Termination of service at permanent/observer missions

Permanent Representative

Before relinquishing his/her post, a Permanent Representative/Observer should inform the Secretary-General in writing and, at the same time, communicate the name of the member of the mission who will act as charg d'affaires a.i. pending the arrival of the new Permanent Representative/Observer. It is of special importance to note that a charg d'affaires a.i. cannot appoint himself and can hold this function only after being appointed by the Permanent Representative/ Observer or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State concerned.

Diplomatic personnel and support staff

Upon the final departure from the mission of diplomatic personnel, support staff, their families and household employees, either for abroad or for another address in the United States, the mission should submit to the Protocol and Liaison Service a completed copy of the Notification of Final Departure form (SG.8). If the departure is for another address in the United States, it should be so indicated on the form. If a household employee stays on to serve another diplomat or non-diplomat, it should be mentioned accordingly on the S.8 form and he/she reassigned with his/her new employer. When a departing member of a mission is accompanied by his/her family or household employee(s), particulars of every person concerned should be entered on the form.

Because of their importance, all documents issued to a staff member of the mission and his/her spouse during his/her tenure of office at the mission, namely, United Nations building pass, United Nations parking decal, United States Department of State identification and tax exemption cards issued by the United States authorities, should be surrendered for security reasons to the Protocol and Liaison Service together with the SG.8 form. Licence plates should be returned directly to the appropriate office of the host country and recorded on the SG.8 form.

Household employees

If a household employee leaves the service of a member of a permanent/observer mission, his/her employer is responsible for ensuring that a completed copy of the SG.8 form is forwarded to the Protocol and Liaison Service. If a household employee intends to remain in the United States, his/her new address should be entered on the form. In case a household employee does not leave the United States together with his/her former employer whose tenure at the mission has ended, and is employed by another member of a permanent/observer mission, such a change of designation should be communicated to the Protocol and Liaison Service in writing, stating the name and position of the new employer and the effective date of employment. A copy of the new contractual agreement should be included.

XI. Accreditation of delegates to meetings

Arrival and departure

Permanent/observer missions, specialized agencies and associate members of regional commissions are requested to inform the Protocol and Liaison Service about the forthcoming arrival of members of official delegations and/or support staff* who will attend meetings of United Nations organs at Headquarters by filling out an SG.6 form or meetings with Secretariat officials by filling out an SG.37 form. The form must be signed by the head of chancery or the administrative officer and sent together with a covering letter addressed to the Chief of Protocol. The Protocol and Liaison Service will authorize United Nations building pass applications which may be collected after 48 hours and brought to the United Nations Pass and ID Office, UNITAR Building, 45th Street and 1st Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017, for processing. If the name and photograph of a delegate is already in the computer system of the Pass and ID Office, his/her pass may be collected by a representative of the Mission in the absence of the delegate.

*A support staff member must also include a copy of a valid passport and visa; alien registration card or US birth certificate.

XII. United Nations building passes

A United Nations building pass is required for entry into Headquarters. Passes for all members of permanent/observer missions differ as to their colour symbols and have space provided for a photograph of the bearer.

In order to obtain a United Nations building pass, the permanent/observer missions are requested to proceed as follows:

Diplomatic personnel

Applications for building passes for diplomatic personnel of permanent/observer missions and their spouses are authorized by liaison officers of the Protocol and Liaison Service upon receipt of the request for UN building pass form (SG.32). Once the application has been authorized, the diplomat and/or spouse must take the application form in person to the United Nations Pass and ID Office where a photograph will be taken and the pass issued. Passes for diplomatic personnel and their spouses are issued for a period of three years.

Support Staff

In order to obtain a UN building pass for support staff of permanent/observer missions, a completed typed application form (SG.32) (see sect. V above) must be sent to the Protocol and Liaison Service. Once these requirements are met, the building pass application will be authorized and must be taken in person to the United Nations Pass and ID Office where the pass will be processed. Passes for support staff are issued for two years and must be renewed accordingly.

Missions that require the service of non-diplomatic staff in restricted areas should make a written request to the Chief of Protocol to that effect, and a special "CONF" pass will be issued.

Lost building passes

If a pass is lost or stolen, requests for duplicates must be made in writing and addressed to the Chief of Protocol together with an SG.32 form. The applicant with the authorized SG.32 form should proceed to the Special Services Unit (Room S-710) where a special report form must be filled prior to the processing of the UN building duplicate pass.

Renewal of expired building passes

The renewal of an expired building pass for any member of a permanent/observer mission must be requested in writing by the head of chancery or the administrative officer, mentioning the length of time for which it should be renewed, together with an SG.32 form.

Former Permanent Representatives

Former Permanent Representatives and their spouses are entitled to a United Nations building pass. Upon a request from the mission to the Chief of Protocol, together with the United Nations building pass form (SG.38), the application will be authorized by the Protocol and Liaison Service.

XIII. VIP passes

Heads of State or Government, Crown Princes, Vice-Presidents and spouses thereof are not subject to the above-mentioned procedure. Special VIP passes without photograph are issued upon the request of the corresponding missions.

Ministers for Foreign Affairs, cabinet ministers and spouses will be issued special VIP passes upon request to the Chief of Protocol, provided that the Chief of Protocol receives in advance two colour passport-size photographs of the above-mentioned dignitaries so that the passes can be ready upon their arrival. All VIP passes must be collected from the Protocol and Liaison Service by a member of the mission.

Members of the parties of visiting dignitaries will be issued the appropriate pass, once the application (form SG.6) has been authorized and submitted in person to the Pass and ID Office for processing.

United Nations building passes, both VIP and regular, are the property of the United Nations and should be surrendered to the Protocol and Liaison Service upon departure from New York of the diplomat, spouse or support staff member through the corresponding permanent/observer missions.

Representatives of the media should submit their requests for passes to the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (Room S-0250).

XIV. Protocol passes

Guests of Permanent Representatives/Observers require Protocol passes for entry in the Headquarters premises. Protocol passes will be issued upon applying in advance in writing and submitting the name and title of the guest to the Chief of Protocol, who will review each case independently. If the pass is required for more than one day, two colour passport-size photographs should be submitted to the Protocol and Liaison Service. Protocol passes will not be issued to those who attend regularly scheduled calendar meetings held at Headquarters.

XV. Composition of Governments of Member/ observer States

Permanent missions of all Member/observer States are requested to inform the Secretary-General through the Protocol and Liaison Service about the composition of their respective Governments and of all changes thereof. Communications from the missions on this subject serve as the basis for all official correspondence between the United Nations and the Governments of respective Member States. Therefore, missions should pay the utmost attention to the spelling of the names and the correct rendering of the official titles and the effective date of their tenure of office. Considerations of protocol and social etiquette demand that the names of the spouses of the Head of State and Head of Government and Ministers for Foreign Affairs also be listed.

The Protocol and Liaison Service keeps an up-to-date reference list of the Governments of all Member States with official titles of the respective Heads of State and Government and Ministers for Foreign Affairs. This information is available upon request.

XVI. Change of official name of a Member State or a national flag

Permanent missions of Member States are requested to inform the Chief of Protocol of any change in the official name of their respective State or flag.

In the event of a change in the national flag, the Permanent Representative or the chargé d'affaires a.i. must inform the Chief of Protocol of the change by letter, with a description and interpretation of the colours of the new flag and the effective date that the new flag is to be flown at the United Nations. A sample of the new flag corresponding to the United Nations flag dimensions of 4 feet by 6 feet for outdoor must also be sent to the Chief of Protocol.

XVII. National holidays

Permanent/observer missions are requested to inform the Protocol and Liaison Service of any changes concerning the date and designation of the national holiday of their respective countries. Forthcoming special observances should be conveyed to the Protocol and Liaison Service by the permanent mission. On the occasion of the national holiday, cable messages from the Secretary-General will be sent to the Head of State or to the Governor-General.

XVIII. The "Blue Book"

Twice a year the Protocol and Liaison Service publishes for information purposes a book entitled "Permanent Missions to the United Nations", known as the "Blue Book". In this publication the permanent missions are listed with their addresses, telephone and telefax numbers, e-mail addresses, dates of national holidays, language of correspondence as well as the names, diplomatic ranks and functional titles, forms of address, titles, etc., of all members of their diplomatic personnel and their spouses. Observer missions and specialized agencies are also listed in the Blue Book. The listings relating to the permanent/observer missions and specialized agencies are based on information communicated to the Protocol and Liaison Service by the missions and their publication is intended for the use of delegations and the Secretariat. In order for the listings to be accurate, the names, form of address, diplomatic rank and functional titles of the diplomats should be written according to the wishes of the mission concerned and in conformity with the established norms of the United Nations. A weekly addendum to the "Blue Book" reflects interim movements of diplomatic personnel.

XIX. Official visits of dignitaries to United Nations Headquarters

Permanent Representatives are requested to inform the Chief of Protocol, at the earliest possible date, of official visits which their Heads of State or Government, Crown Princes and Vice-Presidents intend to pay to United Nations Headquarters, so that a programme of the visit can be prepared and the necessary arrangements made to ensure the successful outcome of the visit.

When the date and time of the visit have been fixed, the Chief of Protocol will draw up a programme in which all the details will be included. After confirming the programme with the delegation concerned, the Chief of Protocol will then convene a meeting with all Secretariat staff involved with the visit.

The Chief of Protocol will receive the dignitary upon his/her arrival at the United Nations Headquarters.

The permanent missions should inform the Protocol and Liaison Service in writing as early as possible of the following:

(a) The dates of arrival and departure to and from New York of Heads of State or Government, Vice-Presidents and Crown Princes;

(b)  If accompanied by a spouse, the complete name of the spouse as well as his/her length of stay, should it be different from the principal;

(c)  The date and time of a planned visit to United Nations Headquarters, and the date scheduled to address the General Assembly or any other United Nations organ;

(d)  A list of officials accompanying the dignitary to the United Nations with their names and functional titles.

When a Head of State or Government visits the Secretary-General, the Chief of Protocol will greet the Head of State as he/she alights from his/her car and will escort him/her to the office of the Secretary-General.

At the end of the meeting, the Secretary-General will bid farewell to the Head of State or Government. The Chief of Protocol will escort the Head of State or Government either to the General Assembly Hall or to any other designated place.

XX. Official mourning

Whenever the Secretary-General of the United Nations proclaims that the United Nations is in official mourning, the United Nations flag, wherever displayed, will be flown at half-mast during the period of official mourning.

In the event of the death of a Head of State or Government of a Member State, after the official communication has been received by the Chief of Protocol, the United Nations flag will be flown at half-mast, in accordance with the United Nations Flag Code and Regulations. No other flags wil be flown at that time. If the communication is received after 7:00 a.m., the United Nations flag will be flown at half-mast the following day or on the day of the official funeral, in compliance with the preference of the Government concerned.

Pursuant to the relevant regulations, the United Nations flag may also be flown at half-mast on the special instruction of the Secretary-General.

XXI. Special arrangements for General Assembly sessions

Each mission is requested to provide as early as possible a complete list and the credentials of its delegation to the General Assembly. Credentials are to be signed either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The delegation of a Member shall consist of not more than five representatives and five alternate representatives and as many advisers, technical advisers and experts as may be required by the delegation (rule 25 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly). If the chairperson of a delegation is either the Head of State or Government, Vice-President or Crown Prince, he/she is considered as the chairperson ex officio while present in New York and is not counted as one of the five representatives. They are always the first person mentioned in the list of the delegation.

The list of delegates provided by each mission should reflect the exact names of the delegates and their diplomatic ranks (ambassador, counsellor, etc.) and functional titles (representative, alternate representative, special adviser, adviser or expert).

A request for special tickets to the General Assembly Hall, especially during the general debate, for the personal guests of the head of delegation should be forwarded to the Chief of Protocol indicating the name of the guest and his/her designation. It is of the utmost importance to include the names of the spouses of high dignitaries to be present during the statement. The availability of the guest tickets will be restricted depending on the occasion and the availability of seats. During the general debate, seating in the VIP section of the General Assembly Hall, and the blue seats in the rear and balcony seating in the Hall are reserved for the use of delegations addressing the General Assembly at that time. Requests for guest tickets should be made as early as possible, as availability of seating is limited.

XXII. Use of the Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium

As a United Nations facility, the Auditorium is put at the disposal, first, of United Nations organs, then the Secretariat and the permanent/observer missions of Member States. The use of the Auditorium is restricted to purposes that may be characterized as United Nations purposes, that are of positive value, either directly to the United Nations or to a particular objective or programme endorsed by the Organization.

Any shows, film showings, lectures or seminars sponsored by the permanent/observer missions are to be of a cultural or artistic nature and without any political connotation that could be offensive to any Member State.

XXIII. United Nations garage parking decals

Diplomatic personnel of permanent missions in possession of vehicles with United Nations diplomatic license plates ("D" plates) are entitled to special vehicle identification decals permitting them to enter and to park their vehicles at Headquarters.

Identification decals for vehicles with diplomatic plates are issued for a period of 12 months and are renewed before the commencement of each regular session of the General Assembly.

Applications for decals of vehicles registered to the individual delegates of permanent missions should be submitted to the Protocol and Liaison Service (Room S-201) with the required attachment of valid vehicle registration and current United Nations identification. After certification by the Protocol and Liaison Service, the application should be hand carried to the Garage Administration (UNITAR Building, 2nd Floor, Room U-210) for processing. Applications for vehicles registered to the mission should be submitted in bulk directly to the Garage Administration Office attaching the valid vehicle registration. All applications must have an authorized mission signature accompanied by the mission seal. Only one decal will be issued per delegate for use on a vehicle with D plates. Decals will be issued only to members of delegations duly accredited to the United Nations.

Applications for temporary identification decals to admit vehicles rented from established and bona fide companies for the use of visiting dignitaries officially attending meetings during the session must be certified by the Protocol and Liaison Service (Room S-0201). The application and a copy of the rental agreement should then be submitted to the Special Services Unit (Room S-0101) for clearance prior to submission to the Garage Administration for issuance. Delegations will be provided with a drop-off/pick-up decal only with no parking privileges. These temporary decals have an expiry date and must be surrendered to the Garage Administration (UNITAR Building, 2nd Floor, Room U-210) upon the expiration date.

Applications for decals from observer missions, intergovernmental organizations and other entities with observer status, listed in sections III, IV and V of the Blue Book , must be submitted to the Protocol and Liaison Service and thereafter to the Garage Administration for appropriate action. The issuance of parking decals to observer missions, intergovernmental organizations and other entities will be limited to persons enjoying diplomatic status.

Parking decals must be displayed prominently and be clearly visible to security officers and Garage Administration staff at entry points and while the vehicles are on the premises.

Prior to the issuance of decals for the new General Assembly session, all previously issued decals to delegations must be returned to the Garage Administration (Room GA-007). Also, decals belonging to delegates who are departing from Headquarters must be returned to the Garage Administration office prior to their departure. Diplomatic license plates should be returned directly to the Office of Foreign Missions, 866 UN Plaza, Suite 265, New York, N.Y. 10017, and indicated on the departure form (SG.8) submitted to the United Nations Protocol. Any changes in vehicle usage must be reflected on the respective decals and as such should be brought to the Garage Administration for processing.


All these measures are taken in order to facilitate United Nations security control and to ensure the safety and convenience of the diplomatic community.