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What Is the Meaning of International Agreements

This introductory remark is intended to provide a fundamental — but not exhaustive — overview of the key terms used in the United Nations Treaty Series to designate international instruments that are binding under international law: treaties, agreements, conventions, charters, protocols, declarations, declarations of intent, modus vivendi and exchange of notes. The aim is to facilitate a general understanding of their scope and function. The term “declaration” is used for various international instruments. However, declarations are not always legally binding. The term is often deliberately chosen to indicate that the parties do not intend to create binding obligations, but only want to explain certain aspirations. The Rio Declaration of 1992 is an example of this, but declarations can also be internationally binding treaties in the general sense. It is therefore necessary to determine in each individual case whether the parties wished to create binding obligations. Determining the intention of the parties can often be a difficult task. Some instruments entitled “Declarations” were not originally intended to be binding, but their provisions may have reflected customary international law or may have become binding as customary law at a later stage. This was the case with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Statements intended to have binding effects could be classified as follows: Remember that there are other international treaties concluded by the United States that are not treaties and do not require the advice and consent of the Senate to be binding. These agreements are generally referred to as executive agreements (see below). The term “convention” can in turn have both a generic and a specific meaning.

Office of Treaty Affairs (L/T): The Office of the Deputy Legal Counsel for Treaty Affairs in the Office of the Legal Counsel provides advice on all aspects of the United States. and the law and practice of international contracts. It administers the process by which the State Department approves the negotiation and conclusion of all international agreements in which the United States will be involved. It also coordinates with the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on matters relating to Senate deliberations and consent to ratification of treaties. Read more about the Office of Contractual Affairs The title given to these international instruments therefore generally does not have overriding legal effects. The title may follow common usage or refer to the particular character or importance that its parts attach to the instrument. The degree of formality chosen depends on the seriousness of the issues addressed and the political implications and intentions of the parties. Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations provides that “any treaty or international agreement concluded by a State Member of the United Nations after the entry into force of the present Charter shall be registered and published by that State As soon as possible”. All treaties and international agreements registered or submitted and registered with the Secretariat since 1946 are published in the UNTS. The terms “treaty” and “international agreement” in Article 102 of the Charter cover the widest range of instruments.

Although the United Nations General Assembly has never established a precise definition of the two terms and has never clarified their mutual relationship, Article 1 of the Standing Orders of the General Assembly implementing Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations provides that the obligation to register applies to any international treaty or agreement “regardless of its form and descriptive name”. In the practice of the Secretariat under Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, the terms “treaty” and “international agreement” include a variety of instruments, including unilateral commitments, such as declarations by new States Members of the United Nations accepting obligations under the Charter of the United Nations, declarations on the recognition of the mandatory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice under Article 36.2 of its Charter. Status, and certain unilateral declarations, binding obligations between the reporting nation and other nations. The specific designation of an international instrument is therefore not decisive for the obligation of Member States to register it. .