Friday, October 3, 2008
Each year, the United Nation holds an annual event to encourage States to participate in the development and codification of international law by becoming parties to various treaties and other international agreements. This year's event was held from September 23-October 1, 2008 at the UN's headquarters in New York. The title of this year's event was "Towards Universal Participation and Implementation - Dignity and Justice for All of Us." This year's event focused on increasing participation in human rights treaties in particular in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. As a result of the annual treaty event, 43 nations signed or ratified 80 separate conventions, agreements, treaties and optional protocols. Some of the treaty actions included Cameroon's signature on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol and Belarus' ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Conventional Weapons Convention. Laos, Tanzania, Greece and Iceland all signed the Convention on Forced Disappearances. That Convention is now just five States short of the 20 needed for the Convention to enter into force.