30 countries expected to carry out treaty actions at annual UN event

12 September 2006

Thirty countries are expected to sign and ratify international treaties at an upcoming annual United Nations event designed to spur participation in these pacts, the UN Legal Counsel said today.

Briefing correspondents in New York, Nicolas Michel said the occasion sought to promote increased participation of countries in the more than 500 multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General, and by so doing, to strengthen the rule of law.

“Treaties are, in fact, the key framework on which most international relations are conducted,” Mr. Michel said. “Much of what we take for granted in our day-to-day activities is underpinned by a complex web of treaty-based rules.”

This year’s signings – held this week and next – would coincide with the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, he said, focusing on 30 treaties regulating a broad range of cross-border issues.

In addition to treaties relating to migration, refugees and stateless persons, the event will showcase treaties on human trafficking, organized crime, corruption, climate change, sustainable development, indiscriminate or excessively injurious weapons, torture and food security.

Three new treaties will also be featured, Mr. Michel said: the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Safety of UN and Associated Personnel, the UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts and the International Tropical Timber Agreement. A fourth treaty, the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railways Network, will open for signature in November.

Beginning in 2000, the UN has held the treaty event at the beginning of the new General Assembly session, with treaties often signed or ratified by the Head of State or the Foreign Minister. At last year’s event, 99 countries and the European Community undertook a total of 265 treaty actions.

 

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