– CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Acceding Country Croatia1, the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland2 and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
We welcome the report of the Secretary General (A67/126) on the consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives.
Violent incidents involving diplomatic and consular personnel and premises continue to occur. Such failure to respect the inviolability of diplomatic and consular missions and their representatives is a matter of great concern for us all.
We urge States to strictly observe, implement and enforce the provisions of international law governed by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which the EU Member States fully apply. Respect for these principles is essential. It also facilitates communication, enhances cooperation and contributes to establishing trust between States.
We support the statement made by the Security Council following the attacks on the American diplomatic premises in Benghazi and in Cairo, and we call on Libya and Egypt to bring the perpetrators to justice. We strongly condemn these heinous acts of violence, in particular the killings which occurred, as well as all other attacks on diplomatic missions and consular premises. We reiterate that such acts can never be justified, wherever they occur. We call on all States concerned to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Receiving States have obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Under both Conventions, they are under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the diplomatic missions and consular premises.
The obligation of guaranteeing the physical safety of staff remains the most important obligation. The European Union and its Member States are prepared to participate in all efforts aimed at ensuring and strengthening the right of diplomatic and consular staff to protection and safety.
The EU and its Member States reassert, as in previous examination of this matter, that any violations of obligations must be met with a demand on the part of the international community for measures of redress and restitution by that State.
The number of breaches of international law relating to diplomatic and consular relations illustrated in the Secretary General’s report show that our efforts in this domain should continue, if not intensify. Everyone is aware of the eminent contribution made by diplomatic relations to the establishment of trust among nations and concord among people. Any acceptance of lessened protection would amount to endangering those objectives.
We call again upon all States that have not yet done so to consider becoming parties to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Ensuring the security of personnel and premises overseas should be a high priority for us all.
1 Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process
2 Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area