Human rights accords receive boost as annual UN treaty event opens

UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

20 September 2011 – Ten conventions or protocols dealing with human rights received signatures or ratifications today as the annual United Nations event aimed at promoting greater participation in global treaties and international law kicked off.

The Pacific island nation of Palau was the busiest Member State, signing up to each such pacts or protocols – part of 34 separate treaty actions taken by 21 countries on the sidelines of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York.

Palau signed up to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

It also signed the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

El Salvador also signed the ICESCR with a declaration, Montenegro ratified – also with a declaration – the enforced disappearances convention, and New Zealand ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

Beyond the human rights sphere, Nigeria acceded to both the Convention relating to the status of Stateless Persons and Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

New Zealand ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Safety of UN and Associated Personnel and Côte d’Ivoire signed the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010.

On the environment, 13 countries signed the Nagoya Protocol, a key text on equitably sharing Earth’s genetic resources and their benefits, while four European Union countries signed a supplementary protocol on biosafety.

Suriname ratified the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and acceded to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

The annual treaty event, which began in 2000, continues until 27 September.


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