1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

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Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Done at Vienna on 23 May 1969. Entered into force on 27 January 1980. United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1155, p. 331

Copyright © United Nations

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
Done at Vienna on 23 May 1969
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Considering the fundamental role of treaties in the history of international relations, Recognizing the ever-increasing importance of treaties as a source of international law and as a means of developing peaceful cooperation among nations, whatever their constitutional and social systems,

Noting that the principles of free consent and of good faith and the pacta sunt servanda rule are universally recognized,
Affirming that disputes concerning treaties, like other international disputes, should be settled by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, Recalling the determination of the peoples of the United Nations to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties can be maintained, Having in mind the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, such as the principles of the equal rights and self-determination of peoples, of the sovereign equality and independence of all States, of non-interference in the domestic affairs of States, of the prohibition of the threat or use of force and of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,

Believing that the codification and progressive development of the law of treaties achieved in the present Convention will promote the purposes of the United Nations set forth in the Charter, namely, the maintenance of international peace and security, the development of friendly relations and the achievement of cooperation among nations,

Affirming that the rules of customary international law will continue to govern questions not regulated by the provisions of the present Convention,
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1
Scope of the present Convention
The present Convention applies to treaties between States.


Article 2
Use of terms
1. For the purposes of the present Convention:
“treaty” means an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed (a)
by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation;
“ratification”, “acceptance”, “approval” and “accession” mean in each case the international act (b)
so named whereby a State establishes on the international plane its consent to be bound by a treaty; “full powers” means a document emanating from the competent authority of a State designating a (c)

person or persons to represent the State for negotiating, adopting or authenticating the text of a treaty, for expressing the consent of the State to be bound by a treaty, or for accomplishing any other act with respect to a treaty;

“reservation” means a unilateral statement, however phrased or named, made by a State, when (d)
signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to a treaty, whereby it purports to exclude or to modify the legal effect of certain provisions of the treaty in their application to that State; “negotiating State” means a State which took part in the drawing up and adoption of the text of (e)

the treaty;
“contracting State” means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty, whether or not (f)
the treaty has entered into force;
“party” means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty and for which the treaty is in (g)

“third State” means a State not a party to the treaty;


“international organization” means an intergovernmental organization.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 regarding the use of terms in the present Convention are without prejudice to the use of those terms or to...
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