To the Senate of the United States:
With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith a copy of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 14, 1973 and signed in behalf of the United States of America on December 28, 1973. The report of the Department of State with respect to the Convention is also transmitted for the information of the Senate.
The effective conduct of international relations depends in large part on the ability of diplomatic agents to travel and live freely and securely while representing the interests of their respective countries. We have witnessed in recent years an unprecedented increase in acts of violence directed against diplomatic agents and other internationally protected persons. This development has demonstrated the urgent need to take affirmative action to minimize the threats which can be directed against diplomatic agents. Although the legal obligation to protect these persons was never questioned, the mechanism for international cooperation to ensure that perpetrators of serious attacks against them are brought to justice, no matter where they may flee, was lacking.
The Convention is designed to rectify this serious situation by creating a legal mechanism whereby persons alleged to have committed serious crimes against diplomats will be prosecuted or extradited. It also sets out a framework for international cooperation in the prevention and punishment of such crimes.
This Convention is vitally important to assure continued safe and orderly conduct of the diplomatic process. I hope that all States will become Parties to this Convention. I recommend, therefore, that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to this Convention.
GERALD R. FORD
The White House,
November 13, 1974.