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Permanent Mission of Switzerland to UNOG
Host Country Division
Rue de Varembé 9-11
P.O. Box 194
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. +41 (0)22 749 24 24
Fax +41 (0)22 749 24 37

 mission-geneve-oi@eda.admin.ch

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Privileges and immunities manual for permanent missions and international organisations

The permanent missions in Geneva and international organisations based in Switzerland and members of their staff benefit from a certain number of privileges, immunities and facilities. The purpose of the following instructions is to provide them with information about the administrative rules and procedures that apply in certain areas. 

The Host State Division of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the Office of the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva has created a manual on the regime of privileges, immunities and other facilities. These instructions are intended for the permanent missions and international organisations and members of their staff. The information is provided purely as an aid and is not legally binding on the host state.

Beneficiaries

The following qualify as “permanent missions”:

  • the permanent missions to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva and other international organisations 
  • the permanent missions to the World Trade Organisation
  • the permanent missions to the Conference on Disarmament
  • the permanent delegations of international organisations to international organisations
  • observer offices and special missions

“International organisations” refers to organisations that have signed a headquarters agreement with the Swiss Federal Council.

Legal framework

In Switzerland the regime of privileges, immunities and facilities applicable to permanent missions and international organisations has a legal structure based notably on the following:

  • the Federal Act of 22 June 2007 on the Privileges, Immunities, and Facilities and the Financial Subsidies granted by Switzerland as a Host State (Host State Act, HSA) which came into force on 1 January 2008, and its implementation ordinance of 7 December 2007 (Host State Ordinance, HSO), which came into force on 1 January 2008 
  • the headquarters agreements concluded with various international organisations
  • the Vienna Convention of 18 April 1961 on Diplomatic Relations applicable by analogy on the basis of the decisions of the Federal Council of 31 March 1948/20 May 1958 and
  • the customary practices of Swiss authorities with regard to questions not covered by the above mentioned texts