List of heads of state by diplomatic precedence

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International protocol holds that a head of state takes precedence over all other officials, and that heads of state rank in the order that they took office. The following list contains the heads of state for all United Nations member states and non-member observer states.

Commonwealth realms, other than the United Kingdom, each have a local governor-general appointed to represent the monarch in the realm's government. Governors-general are frequently accorded the status and privileges of a head of state at diplomatic events when considered as representing their absentee monarch, but not as themselves heads of state. The princes of Andorra each have a representative as well. Hereditary Prince Alois is permanent representative for exercising the sovereign powers due to Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II.[1] They are included in the list and are highlighted in blue.

However, in many cases it is not this neutral principle but national rules of protocol that are acted upon, usually by an international event's host nation, as in many bilateral and even certain multilateral occasions. Various international organisations have a system for internal use. Even in the presence of one or more Heads of State, certain occasions are governed by specific protocol, e.g. military. Thus in many cases precedence is given to monarchs over republican heads of state, mostly in monarchies; in some nations, the Pope (himself a monarchical head of state) ranks above secular heads of state, especially in Roman Catholic countries.

States recognised by the United Nations[edit]

Current[edit]

Title Name Assumed office Country
King Bhumibol Adulyadej 9 June 1946  Thailand
Queen Elizabeth II 6 February 1952  Australia
Queen  Canada
Queen  New Zealand
Queen  United Kingdom
Queen 6 August 1962  Jamaica
Queen 30 November 1966  Barbados
Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said 23 July 1970  Oman
Queen Margrethe II 14 January 1972  Denmark
Queen Elizabeth II 10 July 1973  Bahamas
King Carl XVI Gustaf 15 September 1973  Sweden
Queen Elizabeth II 7 February 1974  Grenada
Queen 16 September 1975  Papua New Guinea
Queen 7 July 1978  Solomon Islands
Queen 1 October 1978  Tuvalu
Queen 22 February 1979  Saint Lucia
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo 3 August 1979  Equatorial Guinea
President José Eduardo dos Santos 10 September 1979  Angola
Queen Elizabeth II 27 October 1979  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Queen 21 September 1981  Belize
Queen 1 November 1981  Antigua and Barbuda
President Paul Biya 6 November 1982  Cameroon
Queen Elizabeth II 19 September 1983  Saint Kitts and Nevis
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah 1 January 1984  Brunei[2]
President Yoweri Museveni 29 January 1986  Uganda
King Mswati III 25 April 1986  Swaziland
President Robert Mugabe 31 December 1987  Zimbabwe
Emperor Akihito 7 January 1989  Japan
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 4 June 1989  Iran[3][4]
President Omar al-Bashir 30 June 1989  Sudan
Prince Hans-Adam II 13 November 1989  Liechtenstein[5][6]
President Idriss Déby 2 December 1990  Chad
King Harald V 17 January 1991  Norway[7][8]
President Nursultan Nazarbayev 25 December 1991  Kazakhstan
President Emomali Rahmon 20 November 1992  Tajikistan
President Isaias Afewerki 24 May 1993  Eritrea
(Governor-General) Sir Colville Young 17 November 1993  Belize
President Alexander Lukashenko 20 July 1994  Belarus
President Yahya Jammeh 22 July 1994  Gambia
King Letsie III 7 February 1996  Lesotho
(Governor-General) Dame Pearlette Louisy 17 September 1997  Saint Lucia
President Denis Sassou Nguesso 25 October 1997  Republic of the Congo
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong-nam 5 September 1998  North Korea[9]
King Abdullah II 7 February 1999  Jordan
King Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah 6 March 1999  Bahrain
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika 27 April 1999  Algeria
President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh 8 May 1999  Djibouti
King Muhammad VI 23 July 1999  Morocco
President Paul Kagame 24 March 2000  Rwanda[10]
President Bashar al-Assad 17 July 2000  Syria
Grand Duke Henri 7 October 2000  Luxembourg[11]
President Joseph Kabila 17 January 2001  Democratic Republic of the Congo[12]
(Governor-General) Sir Frederick Ballantyne 2 September 2002  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Co-Prince Archbishop Joan Enric Vives Sicília 12 May 2003  Andorra
President Ilham Aliyev 31 October 2003  Azerbaijan
President James Michel 14 April 2004  Seychelles
Prince Hereditary Prince Alois 15 August 2004  Liechtenstein[6]
King Norodom Sihamoni 14 October 2004  Cambodia
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan 3 November 2004  United Arab Emirates
President Mahmoud Abbas 15 January 2005  Palestine
Prince Albert II 6 April 2005  Monaco[13]
President Faure Gnassingbé 4 May 2005  Togo
President Pierre Nkurunziza 26 August 2005  Burundi
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 16 January 2006  Liberia
President Evo Morales 22 January 2006  Bolivia
Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah 29 January 2006  Kuwait
President Filip Vujanović 3 June 2006  Montenegro
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves 9 October 2006  Estonia
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck 15 December 2006  Bhutan
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow 21 December 2006  Turkmenistan
President Daniel Ortega 10 January 2007  Nicaragua
President Rafael Correa 15 January 2007  Ecuador
O le Ao o le Malo Tufuga Efi 11 May 2007  Samoa
President Ernest Bai Koroma 17 September 2007  Sierra Leone
President of the Council of State Raúl Castro 24 February 2008  Cuba[14]
President Ian Khama 1 April 2008  Botswana
President Serzh Sargsyan 9 April 2008  Armenia
President Barack Obama 20 January 2009  United States
(Governor-General) Sir Patrick Allen 26 February 2009  Jamaica
President Jacob Zuma 9 May 2009  South Africa
President Gjorge Ivanov 12 May 2009  Macedonia
President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj 18 June 2009  Mongolia
(Governor-General) Sir Frank Kabui 7 July 2009  Solomon Islands
President Dalia Grybauskaitė 12 July 2009  Lithuania
President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz 5 August 2009  Mauritania
President Ali Bongo Ondimba 16 October 2009  Gabon
(Governor-General) Sir Iakoba Italeli 16 April 2010  Tuvalu
President Juan Manuel Santos 7 August 2010  Colombia
President Dési Bouterse 12 August 2010  Suriname
(Governor General) David Johnston 1 October 2010  Canada
(Governor-General) Sir Michael Ogio 20 December 2010  Papua New Guinea
President Alpha Condé 21 December 2010  Guinea
President Mahamadou Issoufou 7 April 2011  Niger
President Alassane Ouattara 11 April 2011  Ivory Coast
President Salva Kiir Mayardit 9 July 2011  South Sudan
(Governor-General) Sir Jerry Mateparae 31 August 2011  New Zealand
President Tony Tan 1 September 2011  Singapore
President Jorge Carlos Fonseca 9 September 2011  Cape Verde
President Michael D. Higgins 11 November 2011  Ireland
President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi 23 November 2011  Yemen
President Almazbek Atambayev 1 December 2011  Kyrgyzstan
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Abdul Halim 13 December 2011  Malaysia
Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un 17 December 2011  North Korea[9]
President Rosen Plevneliev 22 January 2012  Bulgaria
President Sauli Niinistö 1 March 2012  Finland
President Joachim Gauck 18 March 2012  Germany
King Tupou VI 18 March 2012  Tonga
President Nicolae Timofti 23 March 2012  Moldova
President Macky Sall 2 April 2012  Senegal
President Vladimir Putin 7 May 2012  Russia
President János Áder 10 May 2012  Hungary
President François Hollande 15 May 2012  France
Co-Prince  Andorra
President Taur Matan Ruak 20 May 2012  East Timor
President Tomislav Nikolić 31 May 2012  Serbia
(Governor-General) Sir Elliott Belgrave 1 June 2012  Barbados
(Representative of the Episcopal Co-Prince) Josep Maria Mauri 20 July 2012  Andorra
President Bujar Nishani 24 July 2012  Albania
President John Dramani Mahama 24 July 2012  Ghana
President Pranab Mukherjee 25 July 2012  India
President Danilo Medina 16 August 2012  Dominican Republic
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud 16 September 2012  Somalia
President Enrique Peña Nieto 1 December 2012  Mexico
President Borut Pahor 22 December 2012  Slovenia
President Tommy Remengesau 15 January 2013  Palau
President Park Geun-hye 25 February 2013  South Korea
President Nicos Anastasiades 28 February 2013  Cyprus
President Nicolás Maduro 5 March 2013  Venezuela[15]
President Miloš Zeman 8 March 2013  Czech Republic
Sovereign Pope Francis 13 March 2013   Vatican City[16]
President Xi Jinping 14 March 2013  China
President Anthony Carmona 18 March 2013  Trinidad and Tobago
President Abdul Hamid 20 March 2013  Bangladesh[17]
President Uhuru Kenyatta 9 April 2013  Kenya
King Willem-Alexander 30 April 2013  Netherlands
(Governor-General) Dame Cécile La Grenade 7 May 2013  Grenada
President Baron Waqa 11 June 2013  Nauru
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani 25 June 2013  Qatar
King Philippe 21 July 2013  Belgium
President Hassan Rouhani 3 August 2013  Iran[4]
President Horacio Cartes 15 August 2013  Paraguay
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta 4 September 2013  Mali
President Mamnoon Hussain 9 September 2013  Pakistan
President Charles Savarin 2 October 2013  Dominica
President Mulatu Teshome 7 October 2013  Ethiopia
President Giorgi Margvelashvili 17 November 2013  Georgia
President Abdulla Yameen 17 November 2013  Maldives
President Hery Rajaonarimampianina 25 January 2014  Madagascar
President Juan Orlando Hernández 27 January 2014  Honduras
President Michelle Bachelet 11 March 2014  Chile
(Governor-General) Sir Peter Cosgrove 28 March 2014  Australia
President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca 4 April 2014  Malta
President Luis Guillermo Solís 8 May 2014  Costa Rica
President Tammam Salam 25 May 2014  Lebanon
President Peter Mutharika 31 May 2014  Malawi
President Salvador Sánchez Cerén 1 June 2014  El Salvador
President Petro Poroshenko 7 June 2014  Ukraine
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi 8 June 2014  Egypt
President Andrej Kiska 15 June 2014  Slovakia
King Felipe VI 19 June 2014  Spain
President José Mário Vaz 23 June 2014  Guinea-Bissau
President Juan Carlos Varela 1 July 2014  Panama
(Governor-General) Dame Marguerite Pindling 8 July 2014  Bahamas
President Fuad Masum 24 July 2014  Iraq
President Reuven Rivlin  Israel
(Governor-General) Sir Rodney Williams 14 August 2014  Antigua and Barbuda
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 28 August 2014  Turkey
President Baldwin Lonsdale 22 September 2014  Vanuatu
President Ashraf Ghani 29 September 2014  Afghanistan
President Joko Widodo 20 October 2014  Indonesia
President Klaus Iohannis 21 December 2014  Romania
President Beji Caid Essebsi 31 December 2014  Tunisia
(Representative of the French Co-Prince) Thierry Lataste 5 January 2015  Andorra
President Maithripala Sirisena 9 January 2015  Sri Lanka
President Filipe Nyusi 15 January 2015  Mozambique
King Salman 23 January 2015  Saudi Arabia
President Edgar Lungu 25 January 2015  Zambia
President Sergio Mattarella 3 February 2015  Italy
President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović 18 February 2015  Croatia
President Tabaré Vázquez 1 March 2015  Uruguay
President Prokopis Pavlopoulos 13 March 2015  Greece
President Hage Geingob 21 March 2015  Namibia
President Peter M. Christian 11 May 2015  Federated States of Micronesia
President David A. Granger 16 May 2015  Guyana
(Governor-General) Sir Tapley Seaton 20 May 2015  Saint Kitts and Nevis
President Muhammadu Buhari 6 May 2010  Nigeria
President Ameenah Gurib 5 June 2015  Mauritius
President Raimonds Vējonis 8 July 2015  Latvia
President Andrzej Duda 6 August 2015  Poland
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari 29 October 2015    Nepal
President John Magufuli 5 November 2015  Tanzania
President George Konrote 12 November 2015  Fiji
President Mauricio Macri 10 December 2015  Argentina
President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré 29 December 2015  Burkina Faso
President Johann Schneider-Ammann 1 January 2016   Switzerland[18]
President Jimmy Morales 14 January 2016  Guatemala
President Hilda Heine 28 January 2016  Marshall Islands
Acting President Jocelerme Privert 14 February 2016  Haiti
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa 9 March 2016  Portugal
President Taneti Mamau 11 March 2016  Kiribati
Chairman of the Presidential Council Fayez al-Sarraj 12 March 2016  Libya
Chairman of the Presidency Bakir Izetbegović 17 March 2016  Bosnia and Herzegovina[19]
President Htin Kyaw 30 March 2016  Myanmar
President Faustin-Archange Touadéra  Central African Republic
Captains Regent Massimo Andrea Ugolini 1 April 2016  San Marino
Gian Nicola Berti
President Trần Đại Quang 2 April 2016  Vietnam
President Patrice Talon 6 April 2016  Benin
President Bounnhang Vorachith 20 April 2016  Laos
President Michel Temer 12 May 2016  Brazil[20]
President Azali Assoumani 26 May 2016  Comoros
President Rodrigo Duterte 30 June 2016  Philippines
Presidium of the National Council (acting) Doris Bures
Karlheinz Kopf
Norbert Hofer
8 July 2016  Austria
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski 28 July 2016  Peru
President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson 1 August 2016  Iceland
President Evaristo Carvalho 3 September 2016  São Tomé and Príncipe
Interim President Shavkat Mirziyoyev 8 September 2016  Uzbekistan

Incoming[edit]

Title Name Assumed office Country

States with limited recognition[edit]

Current[edit]

Title Name Assumed office Country
President Bako Sahakyan 7 September 2007  Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud 27 July 2010  Somaliland
President Yevgeny Shevchuk 30 December 2011  Transnistria
President Leonid Tibilov 19 April 2012  South Ossetia
President Raul Khajimba 25 September 2014  Abkhazia
President Mustafa Akıncı 30 April 2015  Northern Cyprus
President Hashim Thaçi 7 April 2016  Kosovo
President Tsai Ing-Wen 20 May 2016  Taiwan
President Brahim Ghali 12 July 2016  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Incoming[edit]

Title Name Takes office Country

Disputed governments[edit]

Current[edit]

Title Name Assumed office Country
President Khaled Khoja 4 January 2015 Syria Syria
President of the Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al-Houthi 6 February 2015  Yemen

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hereditary Prince Alois
  2. ^ Hassanal Bolkiah has been Sultan of Brunei since 4 October 1967, but Brunei was a protectorate of the United Kingdom until 1 January 1984.
  3. ^ Ali Khamenei was previously President of Iran from 2 October 1981 – 4 June 1989.
  4. ^ a b In Iran, the Supreme Leader is the head of state and the President is the head of government.
  5. ^ Hans-Adam II was previously Regent from 26 August 1984 – 13 November 1989.
  6. ^ a b Hereditary Prince Alois has been Regent for Hans-Adam II since 15 August 2004.
  7. ^ Harald V was previously Prince-Regent from 1 June 1990 – 17 January 1991.
  8. ^ Haakon was Prince-Regent from 25 November 2003 – 13 April 2004 and 29 March 2005 – 7 June 2005.
  9. ^ a b The Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea share head of state powers while the deceased Kim Il-sung is recognised in the constitution as the Eternal President.
  10. ^ Kagame was the Acting President until 22 April 2000.
  11. ^ Henri was previously Regent from 3 March 1998 – 7 October 2000.
  12. ^ Kabila was the Acting President until 26 January 2001.
  13. ^ Albert II was previously Regent from 31 March 2005 – 6 April 2005.
  14. ^ Raúl Castro was previously Acting President of the Council of State from 31 July 2006 – 24 February 2008.
  15. ^ Maduro was the Acting President until 19 April 2013.
  16. ^ It is the Holy See and not the Vatican City state that maintains diplomatic relations with states and participates in international organisations. The Holy See and the Vatican City state are two separate and distinct entities. Foreign embassies are accredited to the Holy See, not to the Vatican City state, and it is the Holy See that establishes treaties and concordats with other sovereign entities. Also it is the Holy See that has United Nations Observer status not the Vatican City state.
  17. ^ Hamid was the Acting President until 24 April 2013.
  18. ^ The seven-member Swiss Federal Council is the head of state collectively, with the presidency rotating every year.
  19. ^ The three-member Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the head of state collectively, with the chairmanship rotating every eight months.
  20. ^ Temer was the Acting President until 31 August 2016.