Privileges and immunities of international officials performing functions in connection with activities of their organizations are not always duly respected, thereby seriously affecting the proper functioning of the organizations. A fact of diplomatic life, despite supposed protection by international agreements, is the risk to life and limb. Occupation of embassies, kidnappings of consulate or embassy officers or their families, attacks on couriers, wounding and assassination, are threats with which diplomatic people have to live in unfriendly countries, or in countries with hostile elements. Insufficient physical protection is frequent, particularly for the families of diplomatic staff; and even in friendly countries, third parties may find it easy to mount attacks of a terrorist nature.
As the UN has increasingly been called upon to take action in the field, and to play a leading role, it has itself become a target of attach. International relief supplies have been robbed and the delivery of civilian assistance has been blocked. UN personnel, both soldiers and civilians, have been targeted and deliberately attacked, with many killed and injured. In the period 1992-1993, over 170 UN soldiers and civilians have were killed, and more than 1,000 others were injured while carrying out peacekeeping and humanitarian mandates of the international community. At the beginning of 1987 some 50 UN staff members were reported as detained, imprisoned, or missing - some having died in detention - or held in a country against their will.