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United Nations: Annual Treaty Signing Campaign Launched

(Sept. 21, 2010) The third week of September is the annual United Nations push to have nations sign, ratify, or accede to a number of international accords. The 43 agreements highlighted this year cover a range of subjects, including human rights, environmental protection, biodiversity, disarmament, climate change, counter-terrorism, and protection of the safety of U.N. personnel. Approximately 500 other treaties are available for signatures and other actions. (UN Drums Up Support for Member States to Sign Up to Host of International Treaties, UN NEWS CENTRE (Sept. 17, 2010),

The annual treaty drive coincides with the opening of the General Assembly session. According to Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, the head of the U.N. Office of Legal Affairs, Secretary Ban Ki-moon invited the dignitaries who have traveled to New York for the session to “demonstrate their continuing commitment to the rule of law by undertaking treaty actions.” (Id.)

In 2009, the drive resulted in 103 actions taken on international agreements by 64 nations, which was the highest rate of participation in four years. The United Nations hopes for an even higher number of actions this year. (Id.)