Registration
Under Article 102 of the UN
Charter
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Agenda
Origins and Policy Objective of Article
102
Legal Implications of Article 102
What is a treaty?
Registration Requirements
Publication
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Article 102: Origins and Policy Objective
Article 18 of the Covenant of the League of
Nations:
Every treaty or international engagement entered into
hereafter by any Member of the League shall be
forthwith registered with the Secretariat and shall as
soon as possible be published by it. No such treaty or
international engagement shall be binding until so
registered.
Objective is to ensure that all treaties remain in
the public domain and thus assist in eliminating
secret diplomacy.
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United Nations Charter
Article 102
Paragraph 1: Every treaty and every international
agreement entered into by any Member of the United
Nations after the present Charter comes into force
shall as soon as possible be registered with the
Secretariat and published by it.
Paragraph 2: No party to any such treaty or
international agreement which has not been
registered in accordance with the provisions of
paragraph 1 of this Article may invoke that treaty or
agreement before any organ of the United Nations.
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Legal Implications of Article 102
Each Member State has a legal obligation to
register all international agreements/treaties
concluded after the coming into force of the
Charter.
This obligation does not preclude international
organizations with treaty-making capacity or nonMember States from submitting for registration
treaties entered into with Member States.
Secretariat is mandated to publish all agreements
registered.
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Legal Implications of Article 102
Sanctions
Registration is the prerequisite for a
treaty or international agreement to
be capable of being invoked before
the ICJ or any other UN organ.
Applies only to the parties of an
unregistered agreement.
Third parties can invoke the treaty;
ICJ has not dealt with this issue.
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Important Note
Registration does not imply a judgment by
the Secretariat on the nature of the
instrument, the status of a party, or any
similar question.
Secretariat’s action does not confer on the
instrument the status of a
treaty/international agreement if it does
not already have that status.
Secretariat’s action does not confer on a
party a status which it would not
otherwise have.
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Summary
Member State must submit for
registration all international
agreements/treaties;
Secretariat must publish all
registered agreements;
Parties to a treaty may not invoke
that treaty before the ICJ or other
UN body unless such treaty is
registered.
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Treaties and International
Agreements?
UN Charter and Regulations: No definition
Article 1 of the Regulations to give effect to Article
102 (GA 1946) provides guidance on what
comprises a treaty by adding the phrase: “whatever
its form and descriptive name”
Vienna Convention, 1969, Article 2(1)(a) :
“treaty” means an international agreement
concluded between States in written form and
governed by international law, whether embodied in
a single instrument or in two or more related
instruments and whatever its particular
designation.
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Types of treaties subject to
registration
Bilateral Treaties;
Multilateral Treaties;
Subsequent Actions;
Unilateral legally binding undertakings:
e.g. Acceptance of ICJ’s Compulsory
Jurisdiction (Article 36(2) of the ICJ Statute)
e.g. Suez Canal Declaration by Egypt:
– Registered in 1957
– Egypt considered declaration binding
instrument
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“Whatever its form and
descriptive name”
 Treaty
 Convention
 Exchange of notes/letters
 Protocol
 MOU
 Minutes
 Unilateral Declaration
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Treaty Characteristics
Title and form of a document submitted to
Secretariat for registration are less
important than its content in determining
whether it is a treaty.
A treaty must be concluded between at least
two parties possessing treaty-making
capacity (E.g., Sovereign State/international
organization with treaty-making capacity).
Intention to create legal obligations at
international law.
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Treaty-Making Capacity
Capacity:
At least two parties
- Sovereign states
- Intergovernmental organizations
No capacity:
Non-state entities
Secretariat is guided by GA/SC
resolutions
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Summary
Treaty/International Agreement
– whatever its form and descriptive name
Parties
– treaty-making capacity on international
plane
– intention to create obligations at
international law
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Registration
with the Secretariat
Treaties of which at least one party is a UN
Member may be registered with the
Secretariat provided that the treaty has:
– Entered into force between at least 2 of
the parties, and
– Other requirements for registration are
met.
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Filing and Recording
Agreements not subject to registration
are voluntarily filed and recorded:
– UN and non-Member States;
– UN and specialized agencies or international
organizations;
– Specialized agencies and non-Member States;
– Two or more specialized agencies;
– Specialized Agencies and international
organizations;
– Other cases.
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Ex officio registration by UN
Every treaty subject to registration and to
which the UN is a party shall be registered
unilaterally by the UN (ex officio);
UN registers subsequent actions ex officio
as well;
SG as depositary of a multilateral treaty
also registers ex officio the treaty and its
subsequent actions after the treaty has
entered into force.
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Registration Requirements
Regulations to give effect to Article 102:
(1) Treaty/International Agreement (Article 102)
(2) Certifying Statement
(3) Copy of treaty
(4) Date of entry into force
(5) Method of entry into force
(6) Place and date of conclusion
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Registration Requirements
Regulations require that a party registering
treaty certify that “the text is a true and
complete copy thereof and includes all
reservations/declarations made by the
parties thereto”
Certifying Statement must include:




Full title
Date and place of conclusion
Date and method of EIF
All authentic languages
Submission must be complete:
- E.g., authentic texts, protocols, annexes, maps
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Registration Requirements
Legible copy of treaty/international
agreement:
– One certified and complete copy of all
authentic texts, and two additional copies, or
one electronic copy.
Parent agreement or agreements
incorporated by reference must already be
registered
Date of effect of registration is the date of
receipt by Secretariat of the complete
submission
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Communications
by Secretariat
If successful:
 Submitter receives a certificate of
registration
If unsuccessful:
 Submitter requested to submit
missing information/clarification:
 Authentic languages
 EIF information
 Missing annexes, protocols, etc.
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Summary
Documentation complete
Certifying statement correct
Electronic copy/translations
Agreement registered and published
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Publication
Monthly Statement
Publication in United Nations Treaty
Series http://untreaty.un.org
Publication Obligation:
– Article 12 of the Regulations to give effect to
Article 102 (see Treaty Handbook p. 32)
– Modified by A/153 of15 December 1997
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Limited Publication Policy
Exceptions to publication in extenso:
– Assistance/cooperation agreements of
limited scope: financial, commercial,
administrative or technical matters
e.g. project agreements, World Bank bilateral
financial agreements
Agreements relating to the organization of
conferences, seminars or meetings
Agreements that are to be published
elsewhere
– E.g. IAEA
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Limited Publication Policy
Lengthy lists of products attached to
trade agreements
Agreements of the European
Communities are published only in
English and French
Source: Article 12(2) of the GA
regulations to give effect to Article
102 of the UN Charter
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United Nations Treaty Series
Published in a single series beginning
in 1946
All integral elements of an agreement
including protocols, agreed minutes,
attachments and maps
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United Nations Treaty Series
Texts of agreements registered
and filed and recorded with the
Secretariat
All languages of the registered
agreements
– Over 140 languages
Translations into English and
French
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UNTS on the Internet
http://untreaty.un.org
Full texts of treaties and treaty actions
with textual component are available.
– Including declarations, statements,
reservations, etc.
Search and retrieval capabilities for all
treaties
Facility to view, save and print the full
texts of treaties.
Full texts of multilateral treaties
deposited with the Secretary-General
awaiting publication in the UNTS
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Requirements for Publication
Electronic copy (G.A. Res. A/RES/51/158 of
10 Jan. 97)
Diskette or CD-ROM
E-mail: [email protected]
Courtesy translation in any of the
six official languages (preferably
English/French)
Clean, legible hard copies.
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Copyright © 2005 by the United Nations.
All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored
in a retrieval system, or transmitted in
any form by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or
otherwise without the prior written
permission of the United Nations
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