Dignitary protection and the protection of buildings under international law

Under the Vienna Agreement on Consular and Diplomatic Relations, Switzerland has an obligation to ensure the safety of dignitaries and buildings on Swiss territory. Persons afforded protection include members of diplomatic missions and consular posts, foreign visitors, members of official delegations taking part in international conferences, heads of state and other high-ranking officials during state visits, prime ministers and cabinet ministers, royalty and members of principalities, general secretaries of international organisations on official, unofficial and private visits to Switzerland, staff of international organisations, law enforcement officers, and witnesses in federal criminal proceedings deemed to be particularly at risk. Buildings under international protection include all foreign embassies and consulates.

Foreign security agents on official visits or in transit through Switzerland, and members of foreign diplomatic missions, special missions and consulates require a licence to carry arms.

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