Global perspective Human stories

Nearly 50 countries take treaty action at annual UN event

Nearly 50 countries take treaty action at annual UN event

This year’s special United Nations event to spur participation in international pacts wrapped up today, with 47 countries having taken a total of 79 treaty actions.

The Focus 2007 Treaty Event – focusing on peace, development and human rights – was held on the sidelines of the General Assembly’s general debate at UN Headquarters in New York, and concluded with 40 signatures and 39 ratifications, approvals, acceptances, accessions or like actions.

Held from 25 September to 2 October, the event highlighted 43 agreements, including those that cover human rights, terrorism, organized crime, corruption, environmental issues, the law of the sea, disarmament and international trade.

The annual event, held since 2000, seeks 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.

Maldives today became the 117th State to sign the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is designed to protect the rights of the estimated 650 million people worldwide who have disabilities. During the event, the Convention received 15 signatures and two ratifications, and its Optional Protocol received seven signatures.

However, even with Gabon and India’s ratifications of the Convention during this year’s event, only seven nations have ratified it, short of the 20 ratifications necessary for the pact to take effect.

France and Mexico acceded to the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming for the abolition of the death penalty.

The 2003 UN Convention against Corruption received five ratifications from Canada, Gabon, Moldova, Portugal and Sweden, while the 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was ratified by Gabon, Sri Lanka and Ukraine.