[JURIST] The annual UN Treaty Event [official website], celebrated yearly to promote universal participation in international treaties and agreements, concluded Wednesday [UN News Centre report] after a number of states signed and ratified various treaties and conventions. This year's event, entitled "Treaty Event 2008: Towards Universal Participation And Implementation - Dignity And Justice For All Of Us," celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [text]. On Wednesday, Cameroon signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [text], while Greece and Iceland signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances [text]. The Convention on Enforced Disappearances was also signed by Laos and Tanzania on Monday. On Monday, Laos also ratified the Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods [text, PDF], as well as the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism [text, PDF]. Iran, Switzerland, the Republic of Congo, Zambia, the Philippines, Belarus, and 32 other states signed a variety of treaties and conventions during the week-long Treaty Event. The UN News Centre has more.
According to the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties [text, PDF], proposed international treaties are adopted through the consent of the states participating in the treaty-making process, or by the action of an international conference specially convened for the establishment of the treaty, usually by a two-thirds vote of the participating states. Signatures to international treaties do not establish consent to be bound by the treaty, only the willingness of the signing state to continue the treaty-making process by proceeding with national ratification, acceptance, or approval, and to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty. More than 500 international treaties and agreements [UN treaty status database] have been concluded since the inception of the UN in June 1945.