A country becomes a Party when it lodges with the depositary its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Convention.

What does ratification, acceptance, approval or accession mean?

Ratification, acceptance, approval and accession are the means by which a State establishes its consent to be bound by a treaty on the international plane (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969, article 2 (b)).

The UN Secretary-General in New York, USA, holds the depositary where a country can deposit its instrument pertaining to the particular means of consent to becoming a Party as shown above. Once deposited, , the State concerned is bound by international law to the obligations established in the treaty. Therefore, the depositary, prior to effecting the deposit of a treaty action, must be satisfied that a State’s intention, as expressed in its instrument, is clear in this respect.

Since the UN Secretary-General is the depositary of over 500 multilateral conventions and the vast majority of them are open to participation by the international community in general, the Secretary-General has had to develop a uniform practice to determine the validity of such instruments, both to safeguard his integrity and to protect the interests of other States that are already parties.