Press Release


RESOLUTION OF THE TWENTY-SEVENTH MEETING OF CONSULTATION OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS1 (Official version)

  August 24, 2012

(Approved at the plenary meeting held on August 24, 2012 and
pending revision by the Style Committee)

THE MEETING OF CONSULTATION OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

BEARING IN MIND that in resolution CP/RES. 1005 (1863/12), of the Permanent Council of the Organization, dated August 17, 2012, a Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs was convened “to address the situation between Ecuador and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland regarding the inviolability of the diplomatic premises of Ecuador in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in accordance with international law” and “to agree on appropriate measures to be adopted”;

CONSIDERING:

That the American states have reaffirmed in the Charter of the Organization of American States that “international law is the standard of conduct of States in their reciprocal relations” (Article 3.a);

That strict compliance is, therefore, essential on the part of all states with the standards that govern the protection of, respect for, and inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions and consular offices, which standards have been codified in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, in particular, the provisions contained in Article 22 of that treaty; and in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, 1963, particularly the provisions at Article 31 of that treaty;


That the Government of the Republic of Ecuador publicly announced that on August 15, 2012, it received from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland an aide-memoire which states, inter alia, “… that there are legal grounds in the United Kingdom--the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act of 1987--that would allow us to take steps to arrest Mr. Assange on the Embassy’s current premises”; and

That the Government of the Republic of Ecuador, on August 16, 2012, announced its decision to grant political asylum to Mr. Julian Assange, who requested it on June 19, 2012, at the Embassy of Ecuador in London,

RESOLVES:

1. To reiterate the full validity of the principles and standards that govern diplomatic relations among states, especially those that concern full respect for the inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions and consular offices, as recognized in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

2. To reaffirm that those principles and standards constitute fundamental rules for ensuring the peaceful coexistence of all the countries that comprise the international community.

3. To reiterate the full validity of the principles enshrined in international law, such as respect for sovereignty, faithful compliance with international treaties, peaceful settlement of disputes, peaceful coexistence among states, and rejection of the threat or use of force to settle disputes.

4. To reject any attempt that might put at risk the inviolability of the premises of diplomatic missions, to reiterate the obligation2 / of all states not to invoke provisions of their domestic law to justify noncompliance with their international obligations, and, in this context, to express its solidarity and support for the Government of the Republic of Ecuador.

5 To urge the Governments of Ecuador and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to continue to engage in dialogue in order to settle their current differences in accordance with international law, taking into account the statements made recently by authorities of both governments.

6. To entrust the Permanent Council with the due follow-up of this matter.

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1. “Canada does not support this resolution. Canada believes that this is a bilateral matter and that the OAS is not the appropriate forum to address this issue. We encourage the UK and Ecuador to continue diplomatic dialogue to find a resolution.”

2. The United States joins consensus on this resolution. With regards to operational paragraph four, however, the United States of America expresses its understanding that the United Kingdom has not invoked provisions of its domestic law to justify noncompliance with its international obligations. In its statements on this matter, the United Kingdom has underscored that its domestic law in fact requires that any action in relation to the Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador comply with international law, including the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Reference: E-67