THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 3, 2001
TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:
I transmit herewith, with a view to receiving the advice and consent
of the Senate to ratification, subject to an understanding and a
reservation, the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated
Personnel adopted by the United Nations General Assembly by consensus on
December 9, 1994, and signed on behalf of the United States of America on
December 19, 1994. The report of the Department of State with respect to
the Convention is also transmitted for the information of the Senate.
Military peacekeepers, civilian police, and others associated with
United Nations operations are often subject to attack by persons who
perceive political benefits from directing violence against United Nations
operations. The world has witnessed a serious escalation of such attacks,
resulting in numerous deaths and casualties. This Convention is designed
to provide a measure of deterrence against these attacks, by creating a
regime of universal criminal jurisdiction for offenses of this type.
Specifically, the Convention creates a legal mechanism that requires
submission for prosecution or extradition of persons alleged to have
committed attacks and other offenses listed under the Convention against
United Nations and associated personnel.
This Convention provides a direct benefit to United States Armed
Forces and to U.S. civilians participating in peacekeeping activities by
including within its coverage a number of types of operations pursuant to
United Nations mandates in which the United States and U.S. military and
civilians have partici-pated in the past. If the United States were to
participate in operations under similar conditions in the future, its
forces and civilians would receive the benefits created by this instrument.
The Convention covers not only forces under U.N. command, but associated
forces under national command or multinational forces present pursuant to a
United Nations mandate. In situations such as we have seen in Somalia, the
former Yugoslavia, and Haiti, certain attacks on these associated forces
would now be recognized as criminal acts, subjecting the attackers to
prosecution in or extradition by any State that is a party to the
Convention. As a result, the international community has taken a
significant practical step to redress these incidents. In doing so, we
recognize the fact that attacks on peacekeepers who represent the
international community are violations of law and cannot be condoned.
By creating obligations and procedures that increase the likelihood of
prosecution of those who attack peacekeeping personnel, this Convention
fulfills an important objective under my Directive for Reforming
Multilateral Peace Operations of May 1994, which directs that the United
States seek additional legal protections for United States peacekeeping
The recommended legislation, necessary to implement the Convention,
will be submitted to the Congress separately.
I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to
this Convention subject to the understanding and reservation that are
described in the accompanying report of the Department of State, and give
its advice and consent to ratification.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 3, 2001.
# # #