Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of the Republic of Belarus relating to the Establishment of the United Nations Interim Office in Minsk
PREAMBLE The United Nations and the Government of the Republic of Belarus,
Whereas the Government of the Republic of Belarus has expressed its interest that the United Nations establish an Interim Office in Minsk with a view to supporting and supplementing the national efforts in solving the most important problems of economic development and promoting social progress and a better standard of life, to disseminate information and enhance public awareness of the role and activities of the Organization;
Whereas the Government of the Republic of Belarus has agreed to ensure the availability of all the necessary facilities to enable the Interim Office to perform fully and effectively its functions, including its scheduled programmes of work and any related activities, and to fulfill its purposes in cooperation and harmony with the Government and people of the Republic of Belarus;
Considering that the Government of the Republic of Belarus has agreed to apply to the Interim Office, as an organizational unit of the United Nations, and to its officials the relevant provisions of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations;
Desiring to conclude an agreement with a view to regulating questions arising from the establishment in Minsk of the United Nations Interim Office;
Have, in spirit of friendly cooperation, agreed, as follows:
Article 1 DEFINITIONS
For the purpose of the present Agreement, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) "Office" means the United Nations Interim Office, an organization unit through which the United Nations provides assistance and cooperation in programmes as well as public information; it may include field suboffices established in the country;
(b) "The Government" means the Government of the Republic of Belarus;
(c) "The appropriate authorities" means central, local and other competent authorities under the law of the Republic of Belarus;
(d) "Convention" means the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 13 February 1946;
(e) "Parties" means the United Nations and the Government of the Republic of Belarus;
(f) "Head of the Office" means the official in charge of the United Nations Interim Office";
(g) "Officials of the Office" means the Head of the Office all members of its staff, irrespective of nationality, employed under the Staff Rules and Regulations if the United Nations with the exception of persons who are recruited locally and assigned to hourly rates as provided for in General Assembly Resolution 76(1) of 7 December 1946;
(h) "Experts on mission" means individuals, other than Office officials or persons performing services on behalf of the United Nations, undertaking missions, coming within the scope of Articles VI and VII of the Convention;
(i) "Persons performing services on behalf of the United Nations" means individual contractors, other than officials engaged by the Office, to execute or assist in the carrying out of its programmes or other related activities;
(j) "office premises" means all premises occupied by the office or field suboffices, including installations and facilities made available to or occupied, maintained or used by the United Nations in the Republic of Belarus and notified as such to the Government;
(k) "UNDP" means the United Nations Development Programme;
(l) "Organization" means the United Nations;
(m) "Country" means the Republic of Belarus.
Article 2 PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES
The Office shall:
1. Cooperate with the Government in programmes of assistance aimed at promoting economic development and social progress through interalia carrying out economical and social studies and research, technical cooperation, the training of personnel and dissemination of information.
2. Coordinate the work in the country of UNDP, UNHCR*, UNICEF**, UNEP*** and other organs of the Organization, in accordance with the relevant resolution, decisions, regulations, rules and policies of the United Nations.
3. Carry out such other activities as may be entrusted to the Office by SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations.
4. If necessary, United Nations organs and programmes may enter into supplemental Agreements with the Government of the Republic of Belarus concerning their projects of assistance, pursuant to Article 18 below.
Article 3 JURIDICAL PERSONALITY AND LEGAL CAPACITY
The United Nations, acting through the Office, shall have the capacity: (a) to contract;
(b) to acquire and dispose of movable and immovable property;
(c) to institute legal proceedings.
Article 4 APPLICATION OF THE CONVENTION
The Convention shall be applicable to the Office, its property, funds and assets, to its officials and experts on mission in the country.
Article 5 STATUS OF THE OFFICE
1. The United Nations shall establish and maintain an Interim Office in the country for the purpose of discharging its activities in accordance with the present Agreement or any other supplemental agreements referred to in Article 18 below.
2. The United Nations, its property, funds assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of legal process except insofar as in any particular case it has expressly waived its immunity. It is understood, however, that no waiver of immunity shall extent to any measure of execution.
3. (a) The premises of the Office shall be inviolable. The property and assets of the Office wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by executive, administrative, judicial or legislative action.
(b) The appropriate authorities shall not enter the Office premises to perform any official duties, except with the express consent of the head of the Office and under conditions agreed to by him or her.
4. The appropriate authorities shall exercise due diligence to ensure the security and protection of the Office, and to ensure that the tranquillity of the Office is nit disturbed by the unauthorized entry of persons or groups of persons from outside or by disturbance in its immediate vicinity.
5. The archives of the Office, and in general all documents belonging to it, wherever located and by whosoever held, shall be inviolable.
Article 6 OFFICE FUNDS, ASSETS AND OTHER PROPERTY
1. Without being restricted by financial controls, regulations, facilities as are recorded to officials of comparable ranks forming part of diplomatic missions to the Government;
(f) be given, together with their spouses and relatives dependent to them, the same repatriation facilities in time of international crisis as diplomatic envoys;
(g) have the right to import free of duty their furniture, personal effects and all household appliances, at the time of first taking up their post in the host country;
2. The head of the Office and other senior officials, as may be agreed between the United Nations and the Government, shall enjoy the same privileges and immunities accorded by the Government to members of diplomatic missions of comparable ranks. For this purpose, the name of the head of the Office may be incorporated in the diplomatic list.
3. Internationallyrecruited officials of the Office shall also be entitled to the following facilities:
(a) to import free of customs and excise duties limited quantities of certain articles intended for personal consumption in accordance with existing government regulation;
(b) o import a motor vehicle free of customs and excise duties, including valueadded tax, in accordance with existing government regulation applicable to members of diplomatic missions of comparable ranks.
Article 7 OFFICIALS OF THE OFFICE
1. Officials of the Office:
(a) be immune from legal process in respect of words spoken or written and all acts performed by them in their official capacity. Such immunity shall continue to be accorded after termination of employment with the Office.
(b) be exempt from taxation on the salaries and emoluments paid to them by the Office;
(c) be immune from national service obligations;
(d) be immune, together with their spouses and relatives dependent on them, from immigration restrictions and alien registration;
(e) be accorded the same privileges in respect of exchange termination of employment with the Office.
(f) be given, together with their spouses and relatives dependent on them, the same repatriation facilities in time of international crisis as diplomatic envoys.
2. For the purpose of enabling them to discharge their functions independently and efficiently, persons performing services for the Office may be accorded such other privileges, immunities and facilities as specified in Articles 7 and 8 above, as may be agreed upon between the Parties.
Article 8 EXPERTS ON MISSION
1. Experts on mission shall be granted the privileges, immunities and facilities as specified in Article VI, Sections 22 and 23, and Article VII, Section 26, of the Convention.
2. Experts on mission may be accorded such additional privileges, immunities and facilities as may be agreed upon between the Parties.
Article 9 PERSONS PERFORMING SERVICES FOR THE OFFICE
1. Persons performing services for the Office shall:
(a) be immune from legal process in respect of words spoken or written and all acts performed by them in their official capacity. Such immunity shall continue to be accorded after or moratoria of any kind, the Office:
(b) may hold and use funds, gold or negotiable instruments of any kind and maintain and operate accounts in any currency and convert any currency held by it into any other currency;
(c) shall be free to transfer its funds, gold or currency from one country to another or within any country, to other organizations or agencies of the United Nations system;
(d) shall be accorded the most favourable, legally available rate of exchange for its financial transactions.
2. The Office, its assets, income and other property shall:
(a) be exempt from all direct taxes, valueadded tax, fees, tolls or duties; it is understood, however, that the Office will not claim exemption from taxes which are, in fact, no more than charges for public utility services, rendered by the government regulation, at a fixed rate according to the amount of services rendered and which can be specifically identified, described and itemized;
(b) be exempt from customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports in respect of articles imported or exported by the Office for its official use. It is understood, however, that articles imported under such exemptions will not be sold in the country into which they were imported except under conditions agreed with the Government;
(c) be exempt from customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports in respect of its publications.
Article 10 LOCALLYRECRUITED PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO HOURLY RATES
Locallyrecruited personnel shall be accorded all facilities necessary for the independent exercise of their functions for the United Nations. The terms and conditions of employment for persons recruited locally and assigned to hourly rates shall be in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, decisions, regulations and rules and policies of the competent organs of the United Nations.
Article 11 WAIVER OF PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES
The privileges and immunities accorded under the present Agreement are granted in the interests of the United Nations, and not for the personal benefit of the persons concerned. The SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations has the right and the duty to waive the immunity of any individual referred to in Articles 7 , 8 and 9 in any case where, in his opinion, such immunity impedes the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the United Nations.
Article 12 ACCESS FACILITIES
1. Officials of the Office, experts on mission and persons performing services shall be entitled to:
(a) prompt clearance and insuarance, free of charge, of visas, licences or permits, where required;
(b) unimpeded access to or from the country, and within the country, to all sites of cooperation activities, to the extent necessary for the implementation of programmes of cooperation.
2. The United Nations shall have the right to operate radio and other telecommunication equipment on the United Nations registered frequencies and those allocated by the Government between its offices, within and outside the country, and in particular with United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Article 13 GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTION
1. The Government shall provide the United Nations, as mutually agreed upon and to the extent possible:
(a) appropriate office premises for the Office, alone or in conjunction with the United Nations system organizations;
(b) costs of postage and telecommunications for official purposes;
(c) costs of local services such as equipment, fixtures and maintenance of office premises;
(d) transportation for Office officials, experts on mission and persons performing services on behalf of the United Nations in the discharge of their official functions in the country.
2. The Government shall also assist the United Nations:
(a) in the location and /or in the provision of suitable housing accommodation for internationallyrecruited officials, experts on mission and persons performing services on behalf of the United Nations;
(b) in the installation and supply of utility services, such as water, electricity, sewerage, fire protection services and other services, for the Office premises.
Article 14 FACILITIES IN RESPECT OF COMMUNICATIONS
1. The United Nations shall enjoy, in respect of its official communications, treatment nit less favourable than that accorded by the Government to any diplomatic mission in matters of establishment and operation, priorities, tariffs, charges on mail and cablegrams and on teleprinter, facsimile, telephone and other communications, as well as rates for information to the press and radio.
2. No official correspondence or other communication of the United Nations shall be subject to censorship. Such immunity shall extent to printed matter, photographic and electronic data communications and other forms of communications as may be agreed upon between the Parties. The United Nations shall be entitled to use codes and to dispatch and receive correspondence either by courier or in sealed pouches, all of which shall be inviolable and not subject to censorship.
3. The United Nations shall have the right to operate radio and other telecommunication equipment on the United Nations registered frequencies and those allocated by the Government between its offices, within and outside the country, and in particular with United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Article 15 UNITED NATIONS FLAG, EMBLEM AND MARKINGS
The United Nations may display its flag, and/or emblem no its Office premises, official vehicles and otherwise as agreed to between the Parties. Vehicles, vessels and aircraft of the United Nations shall carry a distinctive United Nations emblem or markings, which shall be notified to the Government.
Article 16 NOTIFICATION
The Office shall notify the Government of the names and categories of its officials, experts on missions and persons performing services and locallyrecruited personnel, and of any change in their status.
Article 17 IDENTIFICATION
1. The Government shall, at the request of the head of the Office, issue to each official, expert on mission, persons performing services and locallyrecruited personnel (other than those who are assigned to hourly rates) the appropriate certificates of identity.
2. Upon demand of an authorised official of the Government, persons referred to in paragraph 1 above, shall be required to present, but not to surrender, their certificates of identity.
3. The Office shall, upon termination of employment or reassignment of its personnel, ensure that all certificates of identity are returned promptly to the Government.
Article 18 SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENTS
1. the United Nations and any of its organs and programmes may conclude with the Government supplemental Agreements, which shall constitute an integral part of this Agreement, concerning conditions under which they shall assist the Government in carrying out their respective projects.
2. The United Nations and the Government may enter into any other supplemental Agreement as both Parties may deem appropriate.
Article 19 CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED NATIONS
1. The United Nations cooperation in programmes under the present Agreement, or any other supplemental Agreement, is provided for the benefit of the Government and people of the country and, therefore shall bear all risks of the operations under the present Agreement.
2. The Government shall, in particular be responsible for dealing with all claims arising from or directly attributable to the operations under the present Agreement, or any other supplemental Agreement. That may be brought by third parties against the United Nations, its officials, experts on mission and persons performing services on behalf of the United Nations and shall, in respect of such claims, indemnify and hold then harmless, except where the Government and the United Nations agree the particular claim or liability was caused by gross negligence or wilful misconduct.
Article 20 SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
Any dispute between the United Nations and the Government relating to the interpretation and application of the present Agreement, or any other supplemental Agreement, which is not settled by negotiation or other agreed node of settlement shall be submitted to arbitration at the request of either Party. Each Party shall appoint one arbitrator, and the two arbitrators so appointed shall appoint a third, who shall be the chairman. If within thirty (30) days of the request for arbitration either Party has not appointed an arbitrator, or if within fifteen (15) days of the appointment of two arbitrators the third arbitrator has not be appointed, either Party may request the President of the International Court of Justice to appoint an arbitrator. The procedure for the arbitration shall be fixed by the arbitrators, and the expenses of the arbitration shall be borne by the Parties as assess by the arbitrators. The arbitral award shall contain statement of the reason on which it is based and shall be accepted by the Parties as the final adjudication of the dispute.
Article 21 ENTRY INTO FORCE
This Agreement shall enter into force upon signature by the duly authorized representatives of the United Nations and the Government.
Article 22 TERMINATION
The present Agreement shall cease to be in force six months after either of the Parties gives notice in writing to the other of its decision to terminate the Agreement. The Agreement shall, however, remain in force for such an additional period as might be necessary for the olderly cessation of United Nations activities, and the resolution of any dispute between the Parties.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized plenipotentiary of the Government, and duly appointed representative of the United Nations, have on behalf of the Parties signed the present Agreement, in the English and Belarussian languages. For purposes of interpretation and in case of conflict, the English text shall prevail.
Done at Geneva, the 15th day of May of nineteen hundred ninety two.