Press Releases

    L/T/4391
    22 September 2005

    Treaty Event During United Nations Summit Receives Record Number of Treaty Actions

    (Re-issued as received.)

    NEW YORK, 21 September (UN Office of Legal Affairs) -- Ninety-nine countries plus the European Community ratified, signed or acceded to United Nations treaties during the Treaty Event "Focus 2005:  Responding to Global Challenges" held at the United Nations during the 2005 World Summit, from 14 to 16 September.

    A total of 265 treaty actions were undertaken during the event.  Fifty-two countries participated at the level of Head of State or Government and 40 countries at the level of Minister for Foreign Affairs.

    The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism opened for signature at the Treaty Event, obtaining 82 signatures.  The Convention will enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of the deposit of the twenty-second instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.  Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country spearheaded the effort to bring about the Convention, was the first leader to sign it.  Others who signed it were United States President George W. Bush, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair, and China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, of the Permanent Five members of the Security Council, and many other world leaders.

    The ratification by Ecuador, the thirtieth country to do so, of the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption on 15 September, triggered its entry into force, which will take place on 14 December.  Lesotho and Liberia also ratified the Convention.

    Liberia undertook a record 83 treaty actions on 16 September, with Charles Gyude Bryant, Chairman of Liberia's National Transitional Government, signing, among many others, the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.  Secretary-General Kofi Annan warmly welcomed "a landmark in Liberia's journey away from a difficult past" and congratulated Chairman Bryant on this initiative.  "The United Nations and its partners stand ready to support the Liberian Government in ensuring that this range of new treaty obligations is fulfilled", Mr. Annan said.

    Anti-terrorism treaties were a highlight of the event.  The 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism was ratified or acceded to by Kiribati, Jamaica and Brazil, bringing the total of States parties to 143.  The 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings was acceded to by Kiribati and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, bringing the total of parties to 144.  The 1979 International Convention against the Taking of Hostages was acceded to by Kiribati and Bahrain, bringing the total to 153.

    Among the crime conventions, the 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime was ratified or acceded to by Kiribati, Madagascar and the Republic of Moldova, bringing the total of parties to 110.  Its 2000 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, was ratified or acceded to by Australia, Austria, Kiribati, the Republic of Moldova and Madagascar, and now has 92 parties.  Its 2000 Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air was ratified or acceded to by Kiribati, Madagascar and the Republic of Moldova, bringing the total to 81.  Switzerland ratified the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which now has 175 parties.

    On the disarmament front, Madagascar and Vanuatu ratified the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which is not yet in force.  Vanuatu also ratified the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, bringing the total to 147 parties, and acceded to the 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, bringing the total to 174 parties.

    On the human rights front, the 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families was ratified by Lesotho and Peru, bringing the total to 33 States parties.  The 1999 Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was acceded to by San Marino and has now 72 parties.  The 2002 Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was ratified by Poland and Sweden, bringing the total to 13 parties; 20 parties are needed to trigger the entry into force.  The 2000 Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography was ratified or acceded to by Canada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and now has 101 parties.

    On the environmental front, Nepal acceded to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, bringing the total to 156.  Peru and Poland ratified or acceded to the 1998 Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, which now has 100 parties.  Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Vanuatu ratified or acceded to the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, bringing the total to 110 parties.  Switzerland ratified the 1999 Protocol to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, which now has 19 parties.  The Republic of Moldova ratified the 1999 Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, which now has 17 parties.  Kiribati, Liberia and Guinea acceded to the 1995 Agreement relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, which now has 56 parties.

    The 2003 World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was ratified or acceded to by Austria, Bolivia, Guyana, Kiribati, Malaysia and Vanuatu, bringing the total to 85 parties.

    The 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties received four ratifications or accessions -- Maldives, Guyana, Kiribati and Guinea -- bringing the total of parties to 105.  The Convention codifies and substantially reflects the customary international law on treaties.

    "The participation by so many States at the Treaty Event, a significant number of them at the level of Head of State or Government, is a clear indication of the value that the international community places on the global framework of norms underpinned by the treaties deposited with the Secretary-General", said Palitha Kohona, Chief of the Treaty Section at the Office of Legal Affairs.  "These norms cover almost all aspects of international interaction, and increasingly impact on the lives of individuals and the business activities of corporations", Mr. Kohona said.

    For additional information, please contact Mr. Kohona, tel: (212) 963-5047; or Ellen McGuffie, Department of Public Information, tel: (212) 963-0499, e-mail: mcguffie@un.org .

    * *** *