12.3 The Holy See

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A key political player at CSW is the Holy See, a representative of which usually attends the CSW negotiations. The Holy See became a Permanent Observer State at the United Nations on 6 April 1964, and since then has always been invited to participate in the meetings of all the sessions of the General Assembly45. The Holy See is the central government of the Catholic Church.

The Vatican City State was established by treaty in 1929, thus providing the Holy See with a small territorial base and consequent recognition as an independent sovereign entity in international law. The Holy See and the Catholic Church are invested with separate international juristic status, but it is the Holy See, which acts as the supreme organ of government of the Church. The Hague Convention of 1954 protects all Vatican territory as world cultural heritage.