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date: 29 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The United Nations (UN) is a strong defender of the cooperative global order. The promotion of diplomatic and consular exchanges between its member states suits this purpose. Throughout the years, lawmaking by treaty has been the preferred way for the UN to advance legal rules that facilitate such diplomatic and consular interactions. Tremendous achievements (the 1961 and 1963 Conventions on permanent diplomatic and consular missions and the 1973 Convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against internationally protected persons) have been followed by a worthwhile lawmaking exercise (the 1969 Convention on special missions), but also by an attempt at harmonization that failed to attain its goals (the 1975 Convention on permanent representations to international organizations). This chapter zooms in on legal discussions that took place in the course of two decades of diplomatic and consular treaty-making under the auspices of the UN, as well as at the treaties’ implementation track and their present-day impact. The chapter takes a close look at the structure and content of the five UN Conventions in the diplomatic and consular field, and identifies particular contributions of the International Law Commission, the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council, and specially convened diplomatic conferences in Vienna and New York. In a final section, the chapter highlights remaining challenges for the UN in dealing with this subject area.

Keywords: United Nations, treaty-making, diplomacy, diplomatic relations, consular relations, special missions, permanent representations, ILC, UNGA

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