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).

E. S. KRIVCHIKOVA

References in periodicals archive ?
Diplomatic observers in Washington say that such efforts seem to have convinced the Trump administration that Islamabad is seriously supporting its efforts for a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.
Diplomatic observers say the resolution, which Pakistan has been tabling since 1981, serves to focus the world's attention on the struggle by peoples for their inalienable right to self-determination, including those in Kashmir and Palestine.
According to diplomatic observers, Miliband's itinerary envisaged a new Western approach which promotes moderate Islam to counter the expanding terror threat, The Dawn reports.
The official Pakistan Television (PTV) quoted diplomatic observers in Islamabad as saying that India's latest test of a nuclear-capable missile will likely fuel tensions in the region.
A convoy of Western diplomatic observers accredited to monitor Belgrade's compliance with international demands was spotted heading towards Macedonia as well.
However, there are fears among diplomatic observers that if Pakistan fails to help in materialising the deal, the attempt to revive the transactional relationship will suffer a setback.
Pyongyang may have canceled the drills partly as a warning to countries participating in upcoming six-way talks on its nuclear development program in Beijing, diplomatic observers said.
Diplomatic observers said that during his meeting with Obama later this week, the controversial deal Pakistan made with the Taliban is also expected to come up, The Nation reports.
New Delhi sees the recent elections as most convincing, since it has been recognized as free and fair by various quarters, including the diplomatic observers.
Diplomatic observers in Moscow believe Prikhodko's position within the Kremlin would make it harder for Japan to get a breakthrough in the protracted negotiations of a peace treaty before the end of this year.
Diplomatic observers also say that while the Americans are not talking about their contacts with the Pakistani military, both agree on one key point that the current political dispute cannot be allowed to continue.
Saddam made what diplomatic observers believe to be the first sympathetic gesture toward Iran since the 1980-1998 Iran-Iraq war, which claimed the lives of over a million people on both sides.