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Agreement between the Swiss Federal Council and the International Labour Organisation concerning the legal status of the International Labour Organisation in Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Council, of the one part, and the International Labour Organisation, of the other part, wishing to conclude an agreement to regulate the legal status of the International Labour Organisation in Switzerland after the dissolution of the League of Nations have agreed on the following provisions:

Freedom of action of the I.L.O.

Article 1

The Swiss Federal Council guarantees to the International Labour Organisation the independence and freedom of action belonging to it as an international institution.

Personality of the I.L.O.

Article 2

The Swiss Federal Council recognises the international personality and legal capacity in Switzerland of the International Labour Organisation.

Immunities of the I.L.O.

Article 3

The International Labour Organisation enjoys the immunities known in international law as diplomatic immunities.

Exterritoriality of the grounds and buildings

Article 4

The Swiss Federal Council recognises the exterritoriality of the grounds and buildings of the International Labour Organisation and of all buildings occupied by it in connection with meetings of the International Labour Conference or any other meeting convened in Switzerland by the International Labour Organisation.

Freedom of meeting

Article 5

The Swiss Federal Council recognises that the International Labour Organisation and its Members in their relations with the Organisation enjoy absolute freedom of meeting including freedom of discussion and decision.

Immunity from legal process and immunity from other measures

Article 6

1. The International Labour Organisation, its properties and assets wherever they may be or by whomsoever they may be held shall enjoy immunity from every form of legal process except in so far as this immunity is formally waived by the Director of the International Labour Office or his duly authorised representatives.

2. The property and assets of the International Labour Organisation wherever they may be and by whomsoever they may be held shall enjoy immunity from any measure of perquisition, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of seizure or interference by any public authority whatsoever its nature.

Inviolability of grounds and buildings

Article 7

The grounds and buildings of the International Labour Organisation are inviolable. No agent of the Swiss public authority may enter them without the express consent of the International Labour Organisation.

Inviolability of the archives

Article 8

The archives of the International Labour Organisation and all documents belonging to it or in its possession are inviolable.

Publications

Article 9

The export and import of the publications of the International Labour Organisation shall not be subject to any restrictive measures.

Fiscal position of the I.L.O.

Article 10

The International Labour Organisation is exonerated from direct and indirect taxes, federal, cantonal and communal on buildings of which it is the owner and which are occupied by its services as well as on its movable property, it being understood that the International Labour Organisation does not claim exemption from charges corresponding to a service rendered by a public authority

Free disposal of funds

Article 11

1. The International Labour Organisation may receive and hold funds, notes, coins and securities of any kind and may dispose of them freely both within Switzerland and in its relations with other countries.

2. The present Article also applies to States Members of the International Labour Organisation in their relations with the Organisation.

Official communications

Article 12

The International Labour Organisation shall enjoy for its official communications treatment not less favourable than that accorded to diplomatic missions in Switzerland in respect of:

(a) all priorities for communications and transport;

(b) postal, telegraphic, radio-telegraphic, telephonic, radio-telephonic and telephotographic tariffs, etc.

Exemption from censorhip

Article 13

No censorship shall be applied to the duly authenticated official communications of the International Labour Organisation whatever the means of communication employed.

Freedom of access and sojourn

Article 14

1. The Swiss authorities shall take the necessary measures to facilitate the entry into, sojourn in, and departure from Swiss territory of all persons having official business with the International Labour Organisation, that is to say:

(a) representatives of Members States whatever may be the relations between Switzerland and the said States;

(b) members of the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, irrespective of nationality;

(c) agents and officials of the International Labour Organisation;

(d) other persons irrespective of nationality summoned by the International Labour Organisation.

2. Any police regulations tending to restrict the entry of foreigners into Switzerland or to regulate the conditions of their sojourn shall not apply to the persons covered by the present Article.

Immunities of the representatives of Members and of the Governing Body

Article 15

The representatives of the Members of the International Labour Organisation and members of the Governing Body who are in Switzerland on official business shall enjoy the following privileges and immunities:

(a) inviolability of the person, place of residence and all objects belonging to the person concerned;

(b) immunity from jurisdiction;

(c) fiscal immunity corresponding to that accorded to diplomatic agents in accordance with international usage as accepted in Switzerland;

(d) customs facilities corresponding to those accorded to diplomatic agents in accordance with international usage as accepted in Switzerland;

(e) the right to use cyphers in their official communications and to reserve and send documents and correspondence by courier or duly sealed diplomatic bags;

(f) exemption from exchange restrictions under conditions identical to those accorded to diplomatic agents of foreign Governments on temporary mission.

Diplomatic immunities of the Director and certain officials

Article 16

The Director of the International Labour Office and officials of the categories designated by him and agreed to by the Swiss Federal Council shall enjoy the privileges, immunities, exemptions and facilities granted to diplomatic agents in accordance with international law and custom.

Immunities and facilities accorded to all officials

Article 17

All officials of the International Labour Office, irrespective of nationality, shall enjoy the following immunities and facilities:

(a) exemption from jurisdiction for all acts performed in the discharge of their duties;

(b) exoneration from all federal, cantonal and communal taxes on salaries, emoluments and indemnities paid to them by the International Labour Organisation.

Exemptions and facilities accorded to officials not of Swiss nationality

Article 18

Officials of the International Labour Office who are not of Swiss nationality shall enjoy the immunities, exemptions and facilities enumerated in the Arrangement for the execution of the present Agreement.

Pensions Fund, etc.

Article 19

Any pensions fund or provident fund conducted under the authority of the International Labour Organisation shall enjoy legal capacity in Switzerland, if it so requests, and shall enjoy the same exemptions, immunities and privileges as the Organisation itself.

Former arrangements

Article 20

In so far as they are not modified by the present Agreement, the Modus Vivendi of 1921 and 1926 and the supplementary arrangements concluded between the Federal Political Department, the League of Nations and the International Labour Office shall continue to apply to the International Labour Organisation.

Object of the immunities

Article 21

1. The immunities provided for in the present Agreement in respect of officials of the International Labour Organisation are not designed for the personal benefit of those officials but are designed solely to ensure the free functioning of the International Labour Organisation and the complete independence of its agents in all circumstances.

Waiver of immunity

2. The Director of the International Labour Office has the right and duty to waive the immunity of any official in any case in which he considers that immunity would impede the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the International Labour Organisation.

Prevention of abuses

Article 22

The International Labour Organisation shall co-operate at all times with the Swiss authorities to facilitate the proper administration of justice, secure the observance of police regulations and prevent any abuse in connection with the privileges, immunities and facilities provided for in this Agreement.

Disputes of a private nature

Article 23

The International Labour Organisation shall make provision for appropriate methods of settlement of:

(a) disputes arising out of contracts and other disputes of a private law character to which the International Labour Organisation is a party;

(b) disputes involving an official of the International Labour Office who by reason of his official position enjoys immunity, if such immunity has not been waived by the Director.

Non-responsibility of Switzerland

Article 24

Switzerland shall not incur by reason of the activity of the International Labour Organisation on its territory any international responsibility for acts or omissions of the Organisation or of its agents acting or abstaining from acting within the limits of their functions.

Security of Switzerland

Article 25

1. Nothing in the present Agreement shall affect the right of the Swiss Federal Council to take the precautions necessary for the security of Switzerland.

2. If it considers it necessary to apply the first paragraph of this Article the Swiss Federal Council shall approach the International Labour Organisation as rapidly as circumstances allow in order to determine by mutual agreement the measures necessary to protect the interests of the International Labour Organisation.

3. The International Labour Organisation shall collaborate with the Swiss authorities to avoid any prejudice to the security of Switzerland resulting from its activity.

Execution of the Agreement by Switzerland

Article 26

The Federal Political Department is entrusted with the execution by the Swiss Confederation of this Agreement and the Arrangement for its Execution.

Jurisdiction

Article 27

1. Any divergence of opinion concerning the application or interpretation of this Agreement or the Arrangement for its Execution which has not been settled by direct conversations between the parties may be submitted by either party to a tribunal of three members which shall be established on the coming into force of this Agreement.

2. The Swiss Federal Council and the International Labour Organisation shall each choose one member of the tribunal.

3. The judges so appointed shall choose their president.

4. In the event of disagreement between the judges on the choice of a president, the president shall be chosen by the President of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands at the request of the Members of the tribunal.

5. The tribunal may be seised of an application by either party.

6. The tribunal shall determine its own procedure.

Coming into force

Article 28

1. This Agreement shall come into force as soon as it has been approved by the Swiss Federal Council and the Governing Body of the International Labour Office.

2. It shall become operative on the dissolution of the League of Nations.

Transitory régime

Article 29

Until the date of the dissolution of the League of Nations the Modus Vivendi of 1921 and 1926 and the supplementary arrangements concluded between the Political Department, the League of Nations and the International Labour Office shall remain applicable to the International Labour Organisation.

Modification of the Agreement

Article 30

1. This Agreement may be revised at the request of either party.

2. In this event the two parties shall consult each other concerning the modifications to be made in its provisions.

3. If the negotiations do not result in an understanding within one year the Agreement may be denounced by either party giving two years' notice.

Arrangement for execution

Article 31

The provisions of this Agreement are completed by the Arrangement for its Execution.

Signed on: 11 March 1946

Entered into force: 27 May 1946


 
Last update: 5 August 2009^ top