Presentation of credentials - guidelines

The letter of credentials

The letter of credentials of permanent representatives to the United Nations Office at Vienna are issued either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the sending country and are addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations by name and presented to the Director General of UNOV/ Executive Director of UNODC, who represents the Secretary-General and receives credentials on his or her behalf. Separate credentials should not be issued for the funds and programs and subsidiary entities affiliated with the United Nations Office at Vienna.

For a standard form of letters of credentials, please consult the example given.

The presentation of credentials

When a new permanent representative assumes office, the mission should request the UNOV Protocol Service to make arrangements for the presentation of credentials.

Once a time and date for the presentation of credentials has been arranged, the Chief of Protocol welcomes the newly appointed permanent representative to the Vienna International Centre Rotunda (C-building). The permanent representative will then be escorted to the office of the Director-General/ Executive-Director by the Chief of Protocol and a courtesy Security Officer. The permanent representative may be accompanied by one or two members of his or her delegation as well as an interpreter provided by the mission, if necessary.

The presentation of credentials usually takes place in the office of the Director-General/ Executive Director. During the presentation, photographs of the Director-General/ Executive Director with the newly appointed permanent representative are taken by a photographer. Electronic copies of the photographs will be sent to the mission concerned.Then, less formally, the Director-General/ Executive-Director briefs the new permanent representative on present and forthcoming activities of the organisation with the represented country.

According to established practice, the meeting will usually not take longer than 30 minutes. Permanent representatives are not expected to make formal speeches during the presentation ceremony.