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Focus 2007 – The annual UN Treaty Event

This year’s UN Treaty Event (titled “Focus 2007: Towards Universal Participation and Implementation – A Comprehensive Legal Framework for Peace, Development and Human Rights”) has attracted little attention in the media so far. Nevertheless, a number of UN Member States have seized the opportunity to sign and/or ratify multilateral treaties.

The UN Treaty Event, which has been initiated by the UN Secretary General in 2000, is an opportunity for States to sign and/or ratify international treaties on the sidelines of the General Assembly’s General Debate at UN Headquarters in New York, ie, during the opening of the General Assembly session. The goal is to raise awareness of the importance to participate in multilateral treaties.

The focus of this year’s event are international pacts that deal with peace, development and human rights. It was expected that recent treaties such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances would attract most attention. And although a long line of other international instruments are being highlighted during the event (List of Multilateral Treaties Highlighted in Focus 2007 Treaty Event), there are still some treaties that should have been included but for some reason have not even been listed. Most prominently the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Especially the ICC would greatly benefit from additional support from more UN Member States.

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