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Vienna Convention

  • 23 Mar 2023
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

After pro-Khalistan people took down the Indian flag at the High Commission in London, the Indian government summoned the “senior-most” UK diplomat, Deputy High Commissioner and reminded her of the basic obligations of the UK Government under the Vienna Convention.

What is the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations?

  • The Convention was adopted on 14th April 1961 by the United Nations Conference on Diplomatic Intercourse and Immunities held in Vienna, Austria. India has ratified the convention.
  • It entered into force on April 24, 1964, and is nearly universally ratified, with Palau and South Sudan being the exceptions.
  • It sets out the special rules – privileges and immunities – which enable diplomatic missions to act without fear of coercion or harassment through enforcement of local laws and to communicate securely with their sending Governments.
  • It makes provision for withdrawal of a mission – which may take place on grounds of economic or physical security – and for breach of diplomatic relations which may occur in response to abuse of immunity or severe deterioration in relations between sending and receiving States.
    • A “receiving State” refers to the host nation where a diplomatic mission is located.
  • In either of these cases – or where permanent missions have not been established – a framework is provided for the interests of each sending State to be protected in the receiving State by a third State.
  • It affirms the concept of “inviolability” of a diplomatic mission, which has been one of the enduring cornerstones of international diplomacy.
  • Basically, the security of any High Commission or Embassy is the responsibility of the host nation. While diplomatic missions can also employ their own security, ultimately, the host nation is accountable for security.
    • The difference between high commission and embassy is basically where they are situated. Commission applies to Commonwealth member states whereas Embassy applies to the rest of the world.

Source: IE

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