United Nations - Treaty Collection on the Internet
Skip Navigation Links

Note by the Secretariat

  1. Under Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations every treaty and every international agreement entered into by a Member of the United Nations after the coming into force of the Charter must be registered with the Secretariat and published by it. The General Assembly, by Resolution 97 (I) of 14 December 1946, adopted Regulations to give effect to Article 102 of the Charter. These Regulations were amended on 19 December 1978 ("the Regulations") and most recently by the General Assembly Resolution A/RES/52/153 of 15 December 1997.
  2. Under article 1 of the Regulations, parties are required to effect the registration of every treaty or international agreement subject to registration concluded by them. Under article 4 of the Regulations, the United Nations is required to register ex officio every treaty or international agreement which is subject to registration where the United Nations (i) is a party to the treaty or agreement, (ii) has been authorized by a treaty or agreement to effect registration, or (iii) is the depositary of a multilateral treaty or agreement. The specialized agencies may also register treaties in certain specific cases. The Regulations also provide in article 10 for the filing and recording of certain categories of treaties and international agreements other than those subject to registration under Article 102 of the Charter. The Secretariat is designated in Article 102 as the organ with which registration or filing and recording is effected.
  3. The monthly Statement of Treaties and International Agreements (hereafter "the Statement") is issued monthly by the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs of the Secretariat pursuant to article 13 of the Regulations prior to the publication of treaties registered pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter. 
  4. Part I contains a statement of treaties and international agreements registered in accordance with article 1 of the Regulations. Part II contains a statement of treaties and international agreements filed and recorded in accordance with article 10 of the Regulations. With regard to each treaty or international agreement registered or filed and recorded, the following information is provided: registration or recording number, title, date of conclusion, date and method of entry into force, languages in which it was concluded, name of the authority which initiated the formality of registration or filing and recording and date of that formality. Annexes to the Statement contain subsequent actions concerning treaties and international agreements registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat of the United Nations or registered with the Secretariat of the League of Nations. These actions can be in the form of supplementary agreements, agreements which amend or modify previously registered agreements, or certified statements. Certified statements are composed of data only, such as ratifications, accessions, etc.
  5. Under Article 102 of the Charter and the Regulations, the Secretariat is responsible for the registration and publication of treaties. In respect of ex officio registration and filing and recording, where the Secretariat has responsibility for initiating action under the Regulations, it has authority for dealing with all aspects of the responsibility.
  6. In other cases, when treaties and international agreements are submitted by a party for the purpose of registration or filing and recording, they are first examined by the Secretariat in order to ascertain (i) whether they fall within the category of agreements requiring registration or are subject to filing and recording, and (ii) whether the technical requirements of the Regulations are met. It is noted that an authoritative body of practice relating to registration has been developed in the League of Nations and the United Nations. In some cases, the Secretariat may find it necessary to consult with the registering party concerning the question of registrability. However, since the terms "treaty" and "international agreement" have not been defined in the Charter or in the Regulations, the Secretariat follows the principle of respecting the position of the Member State submitting an instrument for registration that in so far as that party is concerned the instrument is a treaty or an international agreement within the meaning of Article 102. Therefore registration of an instrument submitted by a Member State does not imply a judgement by the Secretariat on the nature of the instrument, the status of a party, or any similar question. It is the understanding of the Secretariat that its action does not confer on the instrument the status of a treaty or an international agreement if it does not already have that status and does not confer on a party a status which it would not otherwise have
  7. The obligation to register rests on the Member State and the purpose of Article 102 of the Charter is to give publicity to all treaties and international agreements subject to registration. Under paragraph 2 of Article 102, no party to a treaty or international agreement subject to registration, which has not been registered, may invoke that treaty or agreement before any organ of the United Nations.
  8. Publication of treaties and international agreements

  9. Pursuant to article 12 of the Regulations, treaties and international agreements registered or filed and recorded are published in the United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS) in their original language or languages, together with a translation in English and French, as necessary. By its resolution 33/141 A of 19 December 1978, the General Assembly gave the Secretariat the option not to publish in extenso certain categories of bilateral treaties or international agreements belonging to one of the following categories: 
    • Assistance and co-operation agreements of limited scope concerning financial, commercial, administrative or technical matters;
    • Agreements relating to the organization of conferences, seminars or meetings;
    • Agreements that are to be published otherwise than in the UNTS by the United Nations Secretariat or by a specialized or related agency
  10. By its Resolution A/RES/52/153 of 15 December 1997, the General Assembly extended this option to multilateral treaties falling within the terms of article 12 (2) (a) to (c).
  11. In accordance with article 12 (3) of the Regulations, those treaties and international agreements that the Secretariat intends not to publish in extenso are identified in the Statement by an asterisk preceding the title.