Remarks in a Meeting of the Sixth Committee on Agenda Item 88: Strengthening the International Treaty Framework

Julian Simcock
Deputy Legal Adviser
New York, New York
October 15, 2021


Thank you, Chair.

We welcome the chance to continue the Committee’s discussion of the international treaty framework. In connection with this topic, since 2018, the Committee has been reviewing the Secretariat’s treaty registration and publication regulations. That year it adopted a consensus set of revisions to the regulations. During last year’s session, the Committee gave additional consideration to a limited set of further proposals for revisions to the regulations, but deferred further consideration until this year’s session.

In general, we think the UN’s treaty registration and publication program should strive for transparency and accessibility of treaty information, and ease of use. We commend the Secretariat for the efforts it has made in pursuit of these goals.

In light of the substantial revisions made to the registration and publication regulations in 2018, we think the scope for any further changes to the regulations in the near term should be limited. In general, frequent changes to the regulations complicate the ability of states to use and rely on them.

We welcome the continuation of the Committee’s discussion of possible limited additional changes to the regulations beyond those made in 2018. However, in the interests of stability and predictability in the registration and publication regime, we do not believe the Committee should take up revision of the regulations as a routine matter. Particularly in light of the substantial work the Committee has already done on this matter in recent years, including its discussions during last year’s session, we would encourage the Committee to conclude its current consideration of further revisions to the regulations during this session.