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Annual treaty drive at UN brings 93 actions from 32 countries

Annual treaty drive at UN brings 93 actions from 32 countries

The fifth annual drive by the United Nations to encourage Member States to sign or ratify some of the hundreds of global conventions and treaties has ended, with 32 countries participating this year and 93 actions taken.

There were 14 signatures, 37 ratifications, 35 accessions, one acceptance and six consents to be bound during the four days the event was held at UN Headquarters in New York. The total is likely to rise further because Cambodia is expected to add its signature to four separate pacts on Monday.

Palitha Kohona, Chief of the UN Treaty Section, told reporters today he was pleased that many of the countries that participated did so at the level of Head of State or Foreign Minister - an indication of the importance they are giving to the conventions and treaties.

This year's focus was treaties that protect the rights of civilians, especially during times of armed conflicts, but the pacts signed or ratified covered subjects ranging from trans-national crime to pesticides and chemicals.

Liberia was the most active nation this week, either signing, ratifying or acceding to 18 different treaties and protocols. Paraguay, Madagascar, Lesotho and Sri Lanka also took more than two dozen actions between them.

Mr. Kohona highlighted several notable actions, including ratifications by Burundi, Guyana and Liberia of the Rome Statute, which set up the International Criminal Court to try war criminals.

Nine nations either ratified or acceded to the UN Convention Against Trans-national Organized Crime and its related Protocols, taking to 92 the total number of parties to that treaty.