Diplomatic Observers

Diplomatic Observers


individuals or groups dispatched by a state or by an international organization to observe the work of international conferences, organizations, or specialized agencies or to oversee the implementation of international treaties and the decisions of international organizations.

Diplomatic observers are used when states are interested in the work of certain international conferences, organizations, and specialized agencies of which they are not members. As a rule, they have the right to attend all open sessions and to receive all documentation issued by the conference or organization. Sometimes diplomatic observers are given the right to speak on questions under discussion and to introduce their own proposals. Observers do not vote, do not participate in the selection of internal bodies of conferences or organizations, and do not sign final acts or other documents that have been produced, although their attendance is ordinarily cited in such documents.

A distinction is made between temporary diplomatic observers, sent only for the duration of a given international conference or session of an international organization, and permanent diplomatic observers. In each instance, the conference or organization defines the conditions under which diplomatic observers are allowed to work, as well as the observers’ rights and personal status. For exanple, the charter of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) provides that the council may invite nonmember states to join in the work of its specialized agencies. Conditions under which the representatives of non-member countries may participate in COMECON are determined through individual agreements with these countries.

The practice of establishing permanent diplomatic observer missions was initiated by the League of Nations and was subsequently adopted by the United Nations. Permanent diplomatic observer missions from Switzerland (established in 1946), South Korea (1949), Monaco (1956), and the Vatican (1964) are located in New York. Austria, Italy, Finland, the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and Japan also had such missions before their admission as UN members. In accordance with established practice, permanent diplomatic observers at the UN may participate in sessions of the General Assembly and its committees and receive UN documentation, but may not speak or vote. Similar opportunities are also available to permanent diplomatic observers at specialized agencies of the UN.

The military observers who oversee and verify agreements among belligerents over a cease-fire, a truce, a troop withdrawal, or a demarcation of positions have special status under the contemporary practice of international relations. These observers function under the direction of an observer control organ, which can be a mixed commission formed by the states that are party to the agreement, an international control commission, or a specially created UN body. The 1973 Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam provided for the creation of a quadripartite joint military commission that included representatives of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the United States, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, and the Saigon administration, as well as for an International Commission of Control and Supervision, consisting of Hungary, Indonesia, Canada, and Poland.

Military observer groups may also be created by decision of the UN Security Council. Their functions relate mainly to observation, factual accounting of incidents, and presentation of reports to the Security Council. Such military observers have been used to observe adherence to armistice conditions in Palestine (1949) and between India and Pakistan (1965).


References in periodicals archive ?
Diplomatic observers here wondered why India let go an opportunity to exercise its right of reply on Saturday to Pakistan's stinging response to Indian External Affairs Sushma Swaraj's tough speech to U.
Diplomatic observers said it would actually only take minutes for the two sides to make the key compromises since after a year of discussions both sides know what the other wants and what the other cannot tolerate.
THOSE WHO rushed to criticise the planned visit of US Vice President Joe Biden to Cyprus may find themselves on the wrong side of history as diplomatic observers argue that the high-level American outing potentially marks a monumental shift in bilateral and regional relations.
No official announcement has been made about the visit but diplomatic observers are attaching significance to the trip in the backdrop of the regional situation.
Yet he's back in the region this week on his fourth visit in the last two months, and diplomatic observers say he's surprisingly close to getting the parties back to the table.
The crises had prompted some diplomatic observers in Washington in recent weeks to suggest that Kennedy could be passed over for a more experienced diplomatic hand.
Diplomatic observers said that up to 80,000 people died in the first shock of the natural disaster.
UNODC and diplomatic observers in Iran note that young people have turned aggressively to drug abuse (more than two-thirds of Iran's population is under the age of 30).
Analysts and diplomatic observers describe the verbal crossfire as posturing to please their domestic interests.
10 (ANI): While diplomatic observers here are hopeful of a brief encounter between Prime Minister Dr.
Diplomatic observers said the Bosnian government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the gift of the passport.
Diplomatic observers say that better trained troops using more suitable tactics against seasoned Tamil fighters have partly been responsible for the successes.