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Permanent Missions

Precedence
  • United Nations: Precedence among the Organization of the United Nations is the following: Secretary-General of the United Nations, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, UNDP, UNCTAD, UNEP, UNHCR, UNRWA, UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP, UNDCP, OHCHR, under-secretaries-general, assistant-secretaries-general, directors.
  • Between permanent representatives accredited to the Geneva Office: Precedence among permanent representatives who hold the rank of ambassador is determined by the date of presentation of credentials. Under the next category fall permanent representatives who do not hold the rank of ambassador; acting permanent representatives take precedence after permanent representatives, irrespective of their title, in accordance with their last nomination as such.
  • Between permanent representatives accredited to the Geneva Office and the Permanent Representative of the host country: Precedence can, by courtesy, be given to the latter.
  • Between other members of permanent missions: Precedence is determined by rank, and within each group (ambassadors, ministers and ministers counsellors, counsellors, etc.) according to date of arrival.
  • Between permanent representatives and heads of secretariats of international organizations:
    - The Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva takes precedence over permanent representatives;

    - Directors-general or secretaries-general of the specialized agencies should be given precedence over permanent representatives when invited by a permanent representative;

    - Precedence between directors-general and secretaries-general of specialized agencies is determined according to the date of the agreement between the specialized agency in question and the United Nations. Among the specialized agencies and international organizations, the precedence is as follows: ILO, FAO, UNESCO, ICAO, WHO, World Bank, IMF, UPU, ITU, WMO, IMO, WIPO, IFAD, UNIDO, IAEA, and WTO. In social gatherings hosted by the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva or by the directors-general or secretaries-general of the specialized agencies, it is the practice that the permanent representatives take precedence;

    - As to other intergovernmental organizations, their heads should be given precedence over permanent representatives when this is in the nature of the social gathering in question.
  • Between permanent representatives and high officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross: The President of the ICRC takes precedence over permanent representatives; the latter take precedence over other officials of the ICRC.
  • Between other members of permanent missions and international secretariats: Ambassadors who are not permanent representatives will rank above deputy directors-general or deputy secretaries-general of the specialized agencies and other intergovernmental organizations. Ministers who are not permanent representatives will rank above directors of division.
  • Between permanent representatives and other delegates attending conferences: In social gatherings related to a conference, precedence among heads of delegation is determined either according to the alphabetical order of the countries represented, or in conformity with the established practice of the conference in question. Presiding officers may take precedence over other heads of delegation. In gatherings which are not related to a conference, precedence is given to permanent representatives.
  • Between permanent representatives and members of permanent missions, on the one hand, and Geneva Authorities, on the other: Attention is drawn to the precedence recommended in the "Règlement concernant le Protocole", by the Republic and Canton of Geneva.
  • Additional remarks: In social gatherings in honour of a given personality, the latter takes precedence over all other guests; in such cases, the fact should be mentioned while issuing invitations. In social gatherings organized by, or in connexion with, special bodies, their established practice prevails.

Events & Meetings