Summary of Practice
Summary of Practice of the Secretary-General as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties
The purpose of the present summary is to highlight the main features of the
practice followed by the Secretary-General in this field in the daily
exercise of his functions. A number of annexes follow the main body of the
text, containing models of instruments, depositary notifications by the
Secretary-General, etc. This volume supersedes the previous "Summary of
practice of the Secretary-General as depositary of multilateral agreements"
Multilateral agreements do not remain static and the depositary is
frequently required to solve problems that arise. Changes in the structure
of States, the emergence of new States exercising full sovereignty and the
establishment of a growing number of international organizations have also
had repercussions in the field of multilateral agreements.
It will therefore be seen that the Secretary-General's practice has evolved
over time as a result of efforts to find more satisfactory solutions in the
light of experience or of actions by an organ of the United Nations or in
response to comments from Governments.
The structure of the present summary follows the usual chronology of the
functions to be performed by the depositary from the time of conclusion of
the treaty. Each phase is dealt with in a separate chapter, where the
problems involved, the solutions adopted and the current practice are
This publication is undergoing review to reflect the new developments in
the depositary practice since 1994.
Summary of Practice in