Draft Articles on the status of the diplomatic courier and the diplomatic bag not accompanied by diplomatic courier and draft optional protocols

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Article 1: Status of the Diplomatic Courier

  1. The diplomatic courier plays a crucial role in facilitating the secure and efficient transportation of diplomatic communications and materials between states and their diplomatic missions abroad.
  2. The diplomatic courier enjoys certain privileges and immunities under international law to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of diplomatic correspondence and packages. These privileges and immunities are essential for the proper functioning of diplomatic relations.
  3. The diplomatic courier, as an agent of the sending state, is protected from arrest, detention, and any form of interference by the receiving state while performing their duties. They are granted safe passage and are exempt from personal inspection or seizure of diplomatic bags in their possession.
  4. The sending state has the responsibility to designate individuals as diplomatic couriers and provide them with appropriate identification and documentation, including diplomatic passports or other official travel documents.
  5. The receiving state is obligated to respect the status of the diplomatic courier and ensure their unimpeded movement and safe passage within its territory. Any interference with the diplomatic courier’s duties may constitute a violation of international law and diplomatic privileges.

Article 2: Status of the Diplomatic Bag not Accompanied by Diplomatic Courier

  1. The diplomatic bag is an essential means of communication between diplomatic missions and their sending states. It enjoys special protection under international law to safeguard the confidentiality and inviolability of diplomatic correspondence and documents.
  2. While the diplomatic bag is typically accompanied by a diplomatic courier, there may be situations where the bag is sent separately, unaccompanied by a courier. In such cases, the bag retains its privileged status and protection under international law.
  3. The receiving state is obligated to ensure the inviolability of the unaccompanied diplomatic bag and refrain from any form of inspection or interference. It should promptly deliver the bag to the intended diplomatic mission without opening or seizing its contents.
  4. The sending state has the responsibility to clearly mark the diplomatic bag as such and provide appropriate identification to indicate its diplomatic status, even when unaccompanied by a courier. This helps the receiving state identify and respect the bag’s privileged status.

Draft Optional Protocol on the Status of the Diplomatic Courier

Preamble:
Recognizing the importance of the role of diplomatic couriers in facilitating secure and efficient diplomatic communications,
Reaffirming the principles of inviolability and confidentiality of diplomatic correspondence,
Desiring to enhance the protection of diplomatic couriers under international law,
The undersigned states agree to the following provisions:

Article 1: Definition
For the purpose of this Protocol, a diplomatic courier is an individual designated by the sending state to carry diplomatic correspondence and packages between states and their diplomatic missions.

Article 2: Privileges and Immunities

  1. The diplomatic courier shall enjoy personal inviolability and be protected from arrest, detention, and any form of interference by the receiving state while performing their duties.
  2. The diplomatic courier’s bags, containers, and other means of transport used for diplomatic communications shall be inviolable and exempt from search, inspection, or seizure.

Article 3: Identification and Documentation

  1. The sending state shall provide the diplomatic courier with appropriate identification, including a diplomatic passport or other official travel document.
  2. The receiving state shall recognize and respect the identification and documentation provided by the sending state.

Article 4: Safe Passage
The receiving state shall ensure the unimpeded movement and safe passage of the diplomatic courier within its territory, allowing them to perform their duties without hindrance.

Article 5: Unaccompanied Diplomatic Bag

  1. The unaccompanied diplomatic bag shall retain its privileged status and protection under international law.
  2. The receiving state shall ensure the inviolability of the unaccompanied diplomatic bag and promptly deliver it to the intended diplomatic mission without opening or seizing its contents.

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