Nearly 80 countries undertook action on more than 40 international treaties dealing with topics ranging from terrorism and nuclear testing to children’s rights and fishing during a weeklong event held at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Twelve Heads of State and Government and 56 Foreign Ministers participated in the annual treaty-signing event, held from 10 to 16 November on the fringes of the UN General Assembly’s annual high-level debate. Seventy-eight countries either signed or deposited their instruments of ratification or accession to 41 treaties.
The highest number of treaty actions related to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which received 47 signatures and eight ratifications or accessions. The accord currently has 119 signatories and 13 parties and will enter into force the day after the deposit of the 22nd instrument of ratification with the United Nations.
“These actions have been a clear expression of the will of the international community to support rule of law in international relations and, in particular, to combat terrorism in all its forms,” said Hans Corell, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the UN’s Legal Counsel. “It is important to remember that the actions undertaken were in addition to the measures already taken by those States that had already signed or become parties to these treaties.”
Other related treaties include the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which received 13 ratifications or accessions; the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, which garnered five ratifications or accessions; and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, which gained three ratifications or accessions. All three treaties have already entered into force.
Meanwhile, two other accords received the necessary number of ratifications to enter into force: the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks.
A number of actions were also undertaken with regard to the International Criminal Court, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty and human rights treaties dealing with children, women and migrant workers.