Permanent Representative
A Permanent Representative is the head of a diplomatic mission
Diplomatic mission
A diplomatic mission is a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organisation present in another state to represent the sending state/organisation in the receiving state...

 to one of various international organisations. The best known of the organisations to which states
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 send Permanent Representatives is the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

; of these, the most high-profile ones are those assigned to headquarters
United Nations headquarters
The headquarters of the United Nations is a complex in New York City. The complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1952. It is located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, on spacious grounds overlooking the East River...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, but member states also appoint Permanent Representatives to the other UN offices in Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, and Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is...


Permanent Representatives are often erroneously described as "ambassadors"; however, although a Permanent Representative holds the personal rank
Diplomatic rank
Diplomatic rank is the system of professional and social rank used in the world of diplomacy and international relations. Over time it has been formalized on an international basis.-Ranks:...

 of an ambassador, he or she is accredited to an international organisation, and not to a Head of State
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 (as an ambassador would be) or to a Head of Government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

 (as a High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

 would be).

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 has Permanent Delegates heading the diplomatic missions to the organisation, not Permanent Representatives. A person can also be appointed as a Permanent Representative of a country to NATO.

See also

  • Committee of Permanent Representatives
    Committee of Permanent Representatives
    COREPER, from French Comité des représentants permanents, is the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union, made up of the head or deputy head of mission from the EU member states in Brussels....

  • List of current Permanent Representatives to the United Nations
  • OIC Committee of Permanent Representatives
    OIC Committee of Permanent Representatives
    The Committee of Permanent Representatives is created by article 13 of the new Charter of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. It consists of the ambassadors accredited to the OIC at its headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia...

  • Ministers Deputies
    Ministers Deputies
    The Ministers’ Deputies are the representatives of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers at Strasbourg.While the Committee of Ministers is the executive organ of the Council of Europe, it actually only meets once year in Strasbourg, in what are known as the Ministerial sessions...

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