Seventieth anniversary treaty event to focus on UN contributions to international affairs

24 September 2015

Ahead of an annual United Nations-hosted treaty signing event in New York, the Chief of the UN Office of Legal Affairs Treaty Section, Mr. Santiago Villalpando, briefed the press today, highlighting the contributions multilateral legal instruments make to the Organization’s work.

The UN treaty office decided that this year’s event, to be held from 28 September to 1 October, will mark ‘the overall contribution that the United Nations had made to international affairs through multilateral treaty making,” Mr. Villalpando said.

“The very first lines of the Preamble of the [United Nations] Charter emphasize the importance of treaties in the realization of the purposes of the Organization. Seventy years later, a comprehensive and robust multilateral treaty framework has constituted to one of the major contributions of the United Nations to an international order based on the rule of law,” he declared.

Multilateral treaties have grown in number and complexity, covering a wide array of fields of international relations, Mr. Villalpando continued, highlighting such relevant contributions at the beginning of the press conference.

In this anniversary year, more than 560 multilateral treaties have been deposited with the UN Secretary-General. A number of them are close to achieving universal participation. Others require just a few more instruments of ratification or accession to trigger their entry into force, he explained.

To that end, Mr. Ban stated in his letter of invitation to Member States that the treaty event would provide a distinct opportunity for States to fulfil pledges made in national and international forums to sign on to and, particularly, to ratify or accede to multilateral treaties.

The Treaty Event has been held annually since September 2000 coinciding with the General Debate of the General Assembly, so this year, Mr. Villalpando said, the Secretary-General invited the high level participants coming to New York to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit to sign multilateral treaties or become party to them by depositing instruments of ratification or accession.


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