Treaties and Conventions
 
Open Multilateral Treaties and Conventions to which The Holy See is Party
 
Convention on Cluster Munitions
Entry into force: 01 Aug 2010

Signature of the Holy See: 3 December 2010

Ratification of the Holy See: 3 December 2010


Declarations:

"In ratifying the Convention on Cluster Munitions the Holy See desires to encourage the entire International Community to be resolute in promoting effective disarmament and arms control negotiations and in strengthening international humanitarian law by reaffirming the preeminent and inherent value of human dignity, the centrality of the human person, and the "elementary considerations of humanity", all of which are elements that constitute the basis of international humanitarian law.

The Holy See considers the Convention on Cluster Munitions an important step in the protection of civilians during and after conflicts from the indiscriminate effects of this inhumane type of weapons. The new Convention is a remarkable achievement for multilateralism in disarmament, based on constructive cooperation between governmental and non governmental actors, and on the link between humanitarian law and human rights.

The Holy See would like to underline the following points:

1. The Convention adopts a broad definition of cluster munitions victims, including persons directly impacted, their families and communities, and requests States Parties to provide them with assistance. The Holy See is mindful that this broader assistance must be respectful of the right to life from the moment of conception to natural death, in order to conform to the fundamental principles of respect for human life, and ensure the recognition of human dignity. Preserving life and creating the conditions of an existence worthy of the human person should be at the core of humanitarian assistance.

2. States Parties, in designating a focal point within government (art.5.2(g)), will have to guarantee that the coordination of national disability, development and human rights frameworks and mechanisms ensures effective assistance to all victims. In this regard, the Holy See also wishes to restate its understanding and interpretation of article 5.2 ( c), where the Convention recognizes “the specific role and contribution of relevant actors”: when a State Party develops a national plan and budget to carry out assistance activities according to the Convention “with a view to incorporating them within the existing national disability, development and human rights frameworks and mechanisms”, it shall guarantee the pluralism that is inherent in any democratic society and the diversity of relevant non governmental actors. This respectful form of coordination of the various activities of governmental and non governmental actors is in line with the Preamble (PP 10) (see also Dublin Diplomatic Conference for the adoption of a Convention on Cluster Munitions, Summary Record, CCM/SR/4, 18 June 2008).

3. The Holy See, by ratifying the Convention on Cluster Munitions, understands the term “gender”, used in the Preamble (PP 8) and in articles 5.1, 6.7 and 7.1 (k) of the Convention, in accordance with its Interpretative Statement to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, made in Beijing at the Fourth World Conference on Women.

4. Article 4.4 highlights moral responsibility in cases where cluster munitions have been used or abandoned and have became cluster munitions remnants prior to the entry into force of the Convention. State responsibility should be given effective expression in the area of cooperation and assistance.

5. In relation to Article 21, joint military operations do not imply, in any way, a suspension of the obligations under the Convention. “States Parties, their military personnel or nationals” shall never engage in activities prohibited by the Convention. On the contrary, joint military operations should be opportunities for States Parties to promote the standards introduced by the new instrument with the objective to protect civilians during and after armed conflicts. The Holy See recognizes the spirit of partnership between States, United Nations bodies, International Organizations, the international Committee of the Red Cross and civil society which, through collective action, has sustained the process which has led to the adoption of the Convention. The Holy See considers the implementation of the Convention as a legal and humanitarian challenge for the near future. An effective implementation should be based on constructive cooperation of all governmental and non governmental actors and should reinforce the link between disarmament and development. This can be done by directing human and material resources towards development, justice and peace, which are the most effective means to promote international security and a peaceful international order. In conformity with its proper nature, with its particular mission, and with the particular condition of Vatican City State, and according to its international practice, the Holy See, by means of the solemn act of ratification, expresses its pledge to work towards a peaceful international order in which human dignity and fundamental rights are fully respected."


Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects (Protocol V)...
Entry into force: 12 Nov 2006

Consent to be Bound: 13 December 2005

Declaration:

In acceding to the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) annexed to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW), adopted on November 28, 2003, at the meeting of the States Parties to the CCW, the Holy See, as it did on June 16, 1997 when it acceded to the Convention and its first four Protocols, “in keeping with its proper nature and with the particular condition of Vatican City State, intends to renew its encouragement to the International Community to continue on the path it has taken for the reduction of human suffering caused by armed conflict”. With the approval of the fifth Protocol, the CCW is confirmed as a “forward-looking living instrument” of international humanitarian law, intended to address the problems arising from modern armed conflicts and to improve its effectiveness for the protection of civilians and combatants in such situations. Although one could have wished for a greater incisiveness in the Protocol in responding to the problems originating from the ERW, the adoption of this instrument represents an important multilateral tool for the control of arms for humanitarian reasons, capable of calling States to responsibility for eh ERW and for damages caused by them. In keeping with it own commitment to encouraging the development and implementation of humanitarian law on the part of all States and in all circumstances, the Holy See is convinced that the Fifth Protocol signifies a concretely promoting the culture of life and of peace, based upon the dignity of the human person and the primacy of the rule of law, through a responsible, hones and consistent cooperation of all the members of the community of nations.

Exchange of letters constituting an agreement amending the protocol to the Agreement of 26 June 1972 between the Holy See and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons…
Entry into force: 11 Sep 2006


Amendment to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects...
Entry into force: 18 May 2004

Declaration:

".... declares the acceptance on the part of the Holy See of said amendment to Article I of the Convention, considering that in accordance with paragraph 4 of amended Article 1 the right of the Parties, "by all legitimate means, to maintain or re-establish law and order in the State or to defend the national unity and territorial integrity of the State" should be interpreted in conformity with international humanitarian law, the United Nations' Charter and other international rules."

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
Entry into force: 29 Sep 2003

Accession of the Holy See: 25 January 2012

Amendment to article 43 (2) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Entry into force: 18 Nov 2002


International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism
Entry into force: 10 Apr 2002

Accession of the Holy See: 25 January 2012

Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
Entry into force: 25 Feb 2002

Declaration: (see Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer)

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in armed conflict
Entry into force: 12 Feb 2002

Declaration:

"The Holy See, with regard to article 3, paragraph 2, of the Protocol, declares that, for what concerns the Vatican City State, the Regulations of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, approved in 1976, establish that the recruitment of its members is only voluntary and that the minimum age is set forth at 19 years."

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Entry into force: 18 Jan 2002


Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer adopted by the Ninth Meeting of the Parties
Entry into force: 10 Nov 1999

Declaration: (see Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer)

Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction
Entry into force: 01 Mar 1999


Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended on 3 May 1996 (Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996) annexed to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects
Entry into force: 03 Dec 1998


Protocol additional to the Agreement between the Holy See and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Entry into force: 24 Sep 1998


Additional Protocol to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects (Protocol IV, entitled Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons)
Entry into force: 30 Jul 1998


Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction
Entry into force: 29 Apr 1997

Declaration:
[...] the Holy See, in conformity with the nature and particular condition of Vatican City State, intends to renew its encouragement to the International Community to continue on the path towards a situation of general and complete disarmament, capable of promoting peace and cooperation at world level. Dialogue and multilateral negotiation are essential values in this process. Through the instruments of international law, they facilitate the peaceful resolution of controversies and help better mutual understanding. In this way they promote the effective affirmation of the culture of life and peace. While not possessing chemical weapons of any kind, the Holy See accedes to the solemn act of ratification of the Convention in order to lend its moral support to this important area of international relations which seeks to ban weapons which are particularly cruel and inhuman and aimed at producing long-term traumatic effects among the defenceless civilian population.”

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Entry into force: 10 Sep 1996

Declaration upon signature:
“The Holy See is convinced that in the sphere of nuclear weapons, the banning of tests and of the further development of these weapons, disarmament and non-proliferation are closely linked and must be achieved as quickly as possible under effective international controls. Furthermore, the Holy See understands that these are steps towards a general and total disarmament which the international community as a whole should accomplish without delay.”

Grains Trade Convention, 1995
Entry into force: 01 Jul 1995


Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
Entry into force: 14 Jun 1994

Declaration: (see Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer)

Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
Entry into force: 10 Aug 1992

Declaration: (see Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer)

Amendment to article 8 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Entry into force: 15 Jan 1992


United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
Entry into force: 11 Nov 1990

Signature of the Holy See: 10 December 1988

Ratification of the Holy See: 25 January 2012

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Entry into force: 02 Sep 1990

Reservations:

"a) [The Holy See] interprets the phrase `Family planning education and services' in article 24.2, to mean only those methods of family planning which it considers morally acceptable, that is, the natural methods of family planning.

"b) [The Holy See] interprets the articles of the Convention in a way which safeguards the primary and inalienable rights of parents, in particular insofar as these rights concern education (articles 13 and 28), religion (article 14), association with others (article 15) and privacy (article 16).

"c) [The Holy See declares] that the application of the Convention be compatible in practice with the particular nature of the Vatican City State and of the sources of its objective law (art. 1, Law of 7 June 1929, n. 11) and, in consideration of its limited extent, with its legislation in the matters of citizenship, access and residence."

Declaration:

"The Holy See regards the present Convention as a proper and laudable instrument aimed at protecting the rights and interests of children, who are 'that precious treasure given to each generation as a challenge to its wisdom and humanity' (Pope John Paul II, 26 April 1984).

"The Holy See recognizes that the Convention represents an enactment of principles previously adopted by the United Nations, and once effective as a ratified instrument, will safeguard the rights of the child before as well as after birth, as expressly affirmed in the `Declaration of the Rights of the Child' [Res. 136 (XIV)] and restated in the ninth preambular paragraph of the Convention.  The Holy See remains confident that the ninth preambular paragraph will serve as the perspective through which the rest of the Convention will be interpreted, in conformity with article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969.

"By acceding to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Holy See intends to give renewed expression to its constant concern for the well-being of children and families.  In consideration of its singular nature and position, the Holy See, in acceding to this Convention, does not intend to prescind in any way from its specific mission which is of a religious and moral character."

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
Entry into force: 01 Jan 1989

Declaration: (see Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer)

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
Entry into force: 22 Sep 1988

Declaration:

"In acceding to the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, as well as its four Amendments: London (1990), Copenhagen (1992), Montreal (1997) and Beijing (1999), the Holy See desires to encourage the entire International Community to be resolute in promoting authentic cooperation between politics, science and economics. Such cooperation, as has been shown in the case of the ozone regime, can achieve important outcomes, which make it simultaneously possible to safeguard creation, to promote integral human development and to care for the common good, in a spirit of responsible solidarity and with profound positive repercussions for present and future generations.

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Entry into force: 26 Jun 1987

Declaration:

The Holy See considers the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment a valid and suitable instrument for fighting against acts that constitute a serious offence against the dignity of the human person. In recent times the Catholic Church has consistently pronounced itself in favour of unconditional respect for life itself and unequivocally condemned "whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself" (Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 7 December 1965).

International Wheat Agreement, 1986: (a) Wheat Trade Convention, 1986*
Entry into force: 01 Jul 1986

Terminated in accordance with its provisions on 30 June 1995.

Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects (with Protocols I, II and III)
Entry into force: 02 Dec 1983

Declaration:

"The Holy See, as a signatory of the [said Convention and annexed Protocols], in keeping with its proper nature and with the particular condition of Vatican City State, intends to renew its encouragement to the International Community to continue on the path it has taken for the reduction of human suffering caused by armed conflict. Every step in this direction contributes to increasing awareness that war and the cruelty of war must be done away with in order to resolve tensions by dialogue and negotiation, and also by ensuring that international law is respected.

The Holy See, while maintaining that the above-mentioned Convention and Protocols constitute an important instrument for humanitarian international law, reiterates the objective hoped for by many parties: an agreement that would totally ban anti-personnel mines, the effects of which are tragically well-known.
In this regard, the Holy See considers that the modifications made so far in the second Protocol are insufficient and inadequate. It wishes, by means of its own accession to the Convention, to offer support to every effort aimed at effectively banning anti-personnel mines, in the conviction that all possible means must be used in order to build a safer and more fraternal world."

Protocol to the Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials of 22 November 1950
Entry into force: 02 Jan 1982


Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
Entry into force: 28 Jan 1980


Convention on psychotropic substances
Entry into force: 16 Aug 1976


Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended by the Protocol amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961...
Entry into force: 08 Aug 1975


Protocol amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961
Entry into force: 08 Aug 1975


Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms
Entry into force: 18 Apr 1973


Agreement between the Holy See and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons...
Entry into force: 01 Aug 1972


International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Entry into force: 04 Jan 1969


Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees
Entry into force: 04 Oct 1967


Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
Entry into force: 19 Mar 1967


Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961
Entry into force: 13 Dec 1964


Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
Entry into force: 24 Apr 1964


Optional Protocol of Signature concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes
Entry into force: 30 Sep 1962


Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards
Entry into force: 07 Jul 1959

Reservation:

The State of Vatican City will apply the said Convention on the basis of reciprocity, on the one hand, to the recognition and enforcement of awards made only in the territory of another Contracting State, and on the other hand, only to differences arising out of legal relationships, whether contractual or not, which are considered as commercial under Vatican law.

Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance
Entry into force: 25 May 1957


Agreement on Signs for Road Works, amending the European Agreement of 16 September 1950 supplementing the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic and the 1949 Protocol on Road Signs and Signals
Entry into force: 16 Dec 1955


Convention relating to the Status of Refugees
Entry into force: 22 Apr 1954

Reservation:

The Holy See, in conformity with the terms of article 42, paragraph 1, of the Convention, makes the reservation that the application of the Convention must be compatible in practice with the special nature of the Vatican City State and without prejudice to the norms governing access to and sojourn therein.

European Agreement supplementing the 1949 Convention on road traffic and the 1949 Protocol on road signs and signals
Entry into force: 20 Dec 1953


Protocol on Road Signs and Signals
Entry into force: 20 Dec 1953


Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials
Entry into force: 21 May 1952


Convention on Road Traffic
Entry into force: 26 Mar 1952


International Convention concerning the Use of Broadcasting in the Cause of Peace
Entry into force: 02 Apr 1938


International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency
Entry into force: 22 Feb 1931


Protocol to the International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency
Entry into force: 22 Feb 1931





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