Treaty Handbook

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Revised and updated, this handbook by the Treaty Section of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs is intended as a contribution to UN efforts to assist States in becoming parties to the international treaty framework. It is written in simple language and, with the aid of diagrams and step-by-step instructions, touches upon many aspects of treaty law and practice. This handbook is designed for use by States, international organizations and other relevant entities. In particular, it is intended to provide some degree of assistance to States that may have scarce resources and limited technical proficiency in treaty law and practice to participate fully in the multilateral treaty framework.




In his Millennium Report (A/54/2000), the Secretary-General of the United Nations noted that “[s]upport for the rule of law would be enhanced if countries signed and ratified international treaties and conventions”. He further noted that many countries are unable to participate fully in the international treaty framework due to “the lack of the necessary expertise and resources, especially when national legislation is needed to give force to international instruments”. In the same report, the Secretary-General called upon “… all relevant United Nations entities to provide the necessary technical assistance that will make it possible for every willing state to participate fully in the emerging global legal order”.


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