Heads of state, foreign ministers and other top representatives come together to endorse multilateral treaties that form the basis of international legal frameworks.
“Multilateral treaties are essential tools for Member States to achieve the objectives of the UN Charter,” emphasizes David Nanopoulos, Head of the Treaty Division at the UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA).
The remarkable turnaround on ozone, driven by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, serves as evidence of the power of such multilateral agreements.
“Universal participation in these treaties is absolutely fundamental to their success,” Mr Nanopoulos added.
Treaties in pictures
This year’s focus is on two important treaties: the Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships, and the Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Marine Biological Diversity of Territories that fall outside national jurisdiction. , commonly known as the BBNJ Treaty or the High Seas Treaty.
The first, focused on trade and signed by 15 countries as of Tuesday, aims to strengthen international law governing the sale of ships.
The groundbreaking BBNJ Treaty was agreed in June, after almost two decades of negotiations, and strengthens the legal regime for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in more than two-thirds of the world’s ocean.
Other treaties open for signature include those relating to the environment, human rights, disarmament and the fight against transnational organized crime.
Founded in 2000 by former Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Treaty Event takes advantage of the UN General Assembly’s annual high-level week to build support from world leaders for multilateral treaties and the rule of law.
This initiative has seen significant success, with more than 2,000 treaty actions secured.
As the custodian of multilateral treaties, the UN Secretary General plays a central role in their governance. It ensures transparency and facilitates cooperation between Member States, upholding international law and the principles of diplomacy.