21 September 2012
Press Release
L/T/4426

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Countries Invited to Sign or Become Party to Multilateral Treaties

 

During 2012 Treaty Event

 


In a continuing effort to encourage wider participation in the multilateral treaty framework and strengthen the rule of law, the United Nations is hosting the 2012 Treaty Event at its Headquarters from 24-26 September and from 1-2 October.  During the event, Member States are invited to sign or become party to multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations by depositing instruments of ratification or accession.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his letter of invitation to Member States, stated that this year’s Treaty Event “provides a distinct opportunity for States to reaffirm their continuing commitment to strengthen the rule of law at the international level”.


More than 550 multilateral treaties are deposited with the 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.  The Secretary-General’s letter of invitation called on States “to join efforts to advance the universal application of the framework of internationally agreed upon norms and standards”.


Highlighting the Rule of Law


The Treaty Event also provides an opportunity to support and strengthen the rule of law.  The concept of the rule of law is embedded in the Charter of the United Nations, which provides that the United Nations was created “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained”.  The Charter and other multilateral treaties developed under the auspices of the United Nations and deposited with the Secretary-General form a comprehensive legal framework of norms and standards regulating the conduct of nations, and also, indirectly, the conduct of people.  For the United Nations, the rule of law is a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, independently adjudicated and consistent with international human rights norms and standards.  The Organization’s rule-of-law activities include supporting Member States in the implementation of international norms and standards.


Background


In September 2000, the United Nations invited world leaders attending the landmark Millennium Summit to take advantage of their presence at Headquarters to sign a wide range of major international treaties.  That year, the Treaty Event, titled “An Invitation to Universal Participation”, offered a platform for Governments to showcase their commitment to strengthening the rule of law at home and in the global arena.  Since then, the Treaty Event has been held annually, usually coinciding with the general debate of the General Assembly in September.  Since 2000, the Treaty Events have resulted in 1,679 treaty-related actions, including signatures, ratifications and accessions.


For more information on the 2012 Treaty Event, please see http://treaties.un.org.


For media queries, please contact Martina Donlon, Department of Public Information, e-mail:  mdonlon@un.org; tel:  +1 212 963 6816.


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For information media • not an official record