United Nations Experts on Mission and their Privileges and Immunities

In: International Organizations Law Review
Author: Anthony Miller1
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  • 1 Attorney at Law (New York)
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Persons, other than officials of the Organization, who are entrusted with tasks requiring professional expertise by the Secretary-General, or by an organ of the United Nations, may be accorded the status of experts on mission under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. Such tasks may be entrusted to experts on mission by treaty organs not part of the United Nations. Whether this requires an explicit or implied decision of the General Assembly and whether such treaty organs are limited to those without their own Secretariats is open to question. The privileges and immunities enjoyed by experts on mission are quasi-diplomatic in nature because it was foreseen that they would often operate away from UN premises, which are inviolable. However, these privileges and immunities are enjoyed in the interests of the United Nations. If immunity is asserted against a third party alleging damage by the expert, a remedy must be provided by the United Nations to finally dispose of the substance of the claim. This ensures that the United Nations is accountable for such acts. The General Assembly has promulgated regulations to govern the conduct of experts and to ensure that they are held to account for their activities.

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