Memorandum by Mr. Charles Fahy of the United States Delegation to the Legal Adviser ( Gross )
Subject: Implementation of Headquarters Agreement
I refer to your letter dated September 11, 1947 to Dr. Kerno1 in which you stated that I would act as the Department’s representative “in arranging for an exchange of notes which might serve as a basis for this Government to bring into effect certain provisions of the Headquarters Agreement at the temporary headquarters”.
Do you also want me to act in drafting an exchange of notes which would bring the Headquarters Agreement itself into effect?
As you know, Section 28 of the Headquarters Agreement (copy attached)2 provides that it is to be brought into effect by an exchange of notes between the appropriate United States and United Nations authorities. That exchange of notes could take place as soon as the General Assembly has approved the Headquarters Agreement and indeed it would be helpful if we could so indicate during discussion of the Headquarters Agreement.
In connection with possible negotiations as to the matters to be covered in such an exchange of notes, which will of course be cleared [Page 57] with the Department in draft form, I would like to receive the Department’s views on the application of Section 15 of the Headquarters Agreement.
It would probably be appropriate in the exchange of notes to define by class or number those members of the staffs of permanent resident representatives who are to “be entitled in the territory of the United States to the same privileges and immunities, subject to corresponding conditions and obligations, as it [the United States]3 accords to diplomatic envoys accredited to it”.
As you will recall, Section 15 reads in part that the privileges and immunities referred to above are to be given to “such resident members of their [the principal resident representative’s] staffs as may be agreed upon between the Secretary-General, the Government of the United States and the Government of the Member concerned”.
The following alternatives seem open:
- We could refuse to negotiate now, pointing out that we must negotiate separate agreements with each Member state. This would be stalling.
- We could agree to extend diplomatic status to all officers of Missions as listed in the attached United Nations booklet. This would give the same status to Missions to the United Nations as we now give to Missions accredited to this Government.
- We could seek a compromise between the preceding extreme positions and determine the persons to receive diplomatic status either upon a numerical ground or upon the basis of rank, or upon a combination of number and rank.
As a basis of negotiations, it is suggested that I be authorized to proceed upon the basis of alternative (3) above. If so authorized, an arrangement somewhat as follows might be made and I would appreciate your comments thereon:
“In order to implement Section 15, paragraph two of the Headquarters Agreement, the United States Government, without prejudicing its freedom in the future to withdraw the privileges and immunities herein granted and to condition the grant of the privileges and immunities referred to in Section 15 upon agreement between the Secretary General, the Government of the United States and the Government of the Member concerned as provided in that Section, will extend to resident members of the staffs of principal resident representatives to the United Nations, if they have at least the rank of a Second Secretary of Legation, or its equivalent, the same privileges and immunities, subject to corresponding conditions and obligations, as it [the United States] accords to diplomatic envoys accredited to it, Provided, however,
- That Member states which have seats upon the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the Trusteeship [Page 58] Council shall not have more than fifteen persons on their staffs entitled to the privileges and immunities specified in the aforementioned Section 15;
- That Member states which have seats on not more than two of the above listed Councils shall not have more than ten persons on their staffs entitled to the aforementioned status; and
- That Member states which do not have a seat upon any council shall have not more than five persons on their staffs entitled to the aforementioned status.
The United Nations agrees that it will, in consultation with the United States, make arrangements for keeping the United States currently informed of the names of the individuals entitled to such status.”
It would be most helpful if I could have the Department’s comments within the near future, since we are under considerable pressure from other delegations in this regard.