Friday, September 21, 2012

Next Week's Treaty Event is an Opportunity to Strengthen the Rule of Law

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today called on Member States to sign, ratify or accede to various international treaties during next week’s Treaty Event as part of the Organization’s continuing effort to strengthen the rule of law around the world.  “The Treaty Event provides a distinct opportunity for States to reaffirm their continuing commitment to strengthen the rule of law at the international level,” Mr. Ban said in his letter of invitation to Member States and their delegations while urging them “to join efforts to advance the universal application of the framework of internationally agreed upon norms and standards.” 

According to the United Nations, the rule of law is a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, including the State itself, are held accountable to publicly promulgated laws which are equally and fairly enforced, independently adjudicated, and consistent with international human rights standards.

This year’s Treaty Event, entitled ‘Strengthening the Rule of Law,’ will be held from 24 to 26 September and from 1 to 2 October, to coincide with the General Assembly’s high level meeting on the Rule of Law.

“The Charter of the United Nations and other multilateral treaties developed under the auspices of the United Nations and deposited with me form a comprehensive legal framework of norms and standards regulating the conduct of nations, and also, indirectly, the conduct of people,” the Secretary-General’s letter continued. “They are one of the major successes of the United Nations since its founding.”

The annual treaty event, which was initiated in 2000, is an awareness-raising occasion by the UN Secretary-General, who is the depository of the 550 multilateral treaties that establish the rules of conduct for States. The event is intended promote participation in the treaty framework internationally and nationally. Since it was established, the Treaty Event has resulted in 1,679 treaty-related actions, including signatures, ratifications, and accessions. Only two treaties, however, have achieved 100 per cent participation while others have a broad participation but fall short of the goal of universal participation.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

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