International Law Commission International Law Commission

Last update: August 3, 2015

Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission

Question of treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between two or more international organizations

See also: Summary | Texts and Instruments

Mandate

Studies undertaken by the Secretariat and Reports of the Secretary-General

  • 23rd session of the International Law Commission (1971)
    • Question of treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between two or more international organizations: Working paper submitted by the Secretary-General, containing a short bibliography, a historical survey of the question and a preliminary list of the relevant treaties published in the United Nations Treaty Series
  • 26th session of the International Law Commission (1974)
    • Selected bibliography on the question of treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between two or more international organizations — document prepared by the Secretariat
    • Possibilities of participation by the United Nations in international agreements on behalf of a territory: study prepared by the Secretariat

Reports of the Working Group or Sub-Committee

  • 22nd session of the International Law Commission (1970)
    • Treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between two or more international organizations: Report of the Sub-Committee on Treaties concluded between States and International Organizations or between two or more International Organizations
  • 23rd session of the International Law Commission (1971)
    • Report of the Sub-Committee on Treaties concluded between States and International Organizations or between two or more International Organizations
    • Annex I: Questionnaire prepared by the Chairman of the Sub-Committee
    • Annex II: Replies by Members of the Sub-Committee to the Question prepared by its Chairman

Reports of the Special Rapporteur

  • Survey of the development of the subject; preliminary examination of questions such as the form in which international organizations express their consent to be bound by a treaty, their capacity to conclude treaties, the question of representation, the effect of treaties concluded by international organizations, and the precise meaning of the reservation concerning "any relevant rules of the organization" which appears in article 5 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
    • First Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (24th session of the ILC (1972))
  • Supplementing the first report in the light of, inter alia, the substantial information since communicated by international organizations in reply to a questionnaire (annexed to the second report).
    • Second Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (25th session of the ILC (1973))
  • Five draft articles: Scope of the present articles (art.1); Use of terms (art.2); International agreements not within the scope of the present articles (art.3); Non-retroactivity of the present articles (art.4); Capacity of international organizations to conclude treaties (art.6).
    • Third Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (26th session of the ILC (1974))
  • Conclusion and entry into force of treaties, and observance, application and interpretation of treaties. Draft text of sub-paragraphs (b), (c) and (g) of paragraph 1 of article 2; draft articles 7 to 23.
    • Fourth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (27th session of the ILC (1975))
  • Devoted to the reconsideration of the question of reservations. Draft articles 19 to 23.
    • Fifth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (28th session of the ILC (1976))
  • Proposals for articles 34 to 38 of section 4 (treaties and third States or third international organizations).
    • Sixth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (29th session of the ILC (1977))
  • Part IV: Amendment and Modification of Treaties, articles 39–41. Proposed draft articles, with commentaries.
    • Seventh Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (30th session of the ILC (1978))
  • Part V: invalidity, termination and suspension of the operation of treaties. Draft articles 42–60, with commentaries (continued).
    • Eighth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (31st session of the ILC (1979))
  • Part V: invalidity, termination and suspension of the operation of treaties. Draft articles with commentaries. The report concerns articles 61 to 80 as well as an annex related to article 66.
    • Ninth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (32nd session of the ILC (1980))
  • The report included general observations and a review of articles 1–41 of the draft articles as adopted on first reading, in the light of the written comments and observations received.
    • Tenth Report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Paul Reuter (33rd session of the ILC (1981))
  • Articles 27–41 were re-submitted. It also included a review of articles 42 to 80 and annex as adopted in the first reading in light of the written comments and observations received.
    • Eleventh Report of the Special Rapporteur Mr. Paul Reuter (34th session of the ILC (1982))

Reports of the Drafting Committee

  • 26th session of the International Law Commission (1974)
    • Text adopted by the Drafting Committee: title of the draft articles and of parts I and II (and of sec.1) and arts. 1–4 and 6
  • 27th session of the International Law Commission (1975)
    • Text adopted by the Drafting Committee: sub-paragraphs (b), (b bis), (b ter), (c), (c bis) and (g) of article 2, paragraph 1; articles 7 to 18.
  • 29th session of the International Law Commission (1977)
    • Text adopted by the Drafting Committee: sub-paragraph (j) of article 2, paragraph 1; articles 19, 19 bis, 19 ter, 20, 20 bis, 21–23, 23 bis, 24, 24 bis, 25, 25 bis, 26–34.
  • 30th session of the International Law Commission (1978)
    • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations. Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: paragraph 1(h) of article 2, and articles 35, 36 bis, 37 and 38
  • 31st session of the International Law Commission (1979)
    • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations. Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: arts. 39–60 and titles of the corresponding parts and sections of the draft
  • 32nd session of the International Law Commission (1980)
    • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations. Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: Articles 61–80 and Annex, and titles of the parts and corresponding sections of the draft
  • 33rd session of the International Law Commission (1981)
    • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations. Texts proposed by the Drafting Committee: Articles 1, 2 (except for para. 1, subparas. (d) and (h), 3, 4, and 6 to 18)
  • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations: Revised texts of Article 2, para. 1, subpara. (c), and articles 7, 9 and 17
  • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations: article 2, para. 1, subpara. (d), and articles 5 and 19 to 26
  • 34th session of the International Law Commission (1982)
    • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations: Texts adopted by the Drafting Committee: Article 2, para. 1 (c bis) and h, article 5, article 7, para.  4, article 20, para. 3, articles 27 to 36, 36 bis, 37 to 80 and annex.

Comments by Governments

  • 33rd session of the International Law Commission (1981)
    • Comments and observations of Governments and principal international organizations on articles 1–60 of the draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations adopted by the International Law Commission at its twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh, twenty-ninth, thirtieth and thirty-first sessions
  • 34th session of the International Law Commission (1982)
    • Comments and observations of Governments and principal international organizations on draft articles 61–80 and annex of the draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations adopted by the International Law Commission at its thirty-second session

Other

  • 27th session of the International Law Commission (1975)
    • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations: new articles 19 and 20 proposed by the Special Rapporteur
  • 29th session of the International Law Commission (1977)
    • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations: articles 19–23 proposed by Mr. Ushakov, in A/32/10, footnotes 464, 478, 480, 482 and 485
  • 31st session of the International Law Commission (1979)
    • Draft articles on treaties concluded between States and international organizations or between international organizations: text of article 46 proposed by Mr. Ushakov

Reports of the International Law Commission

  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-second session, 4 May to 10 July 1970
    • Adopted the report of the Sub-Committee
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1078th meeting (26 June 1970)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-third session, 26 April to 30 June 1971
    • Adopted the report of the Sub-Committee. On the basis of the report, the Commission took the following decision: a) it unanimously appointed Mr. Paul Reuter as Special Rapporteur for the topic; b) it confirmed the request that it had addressed to the Secretary-General at its twenty-second session concerning the preparation of documentation for the use of members of the Commission; and c) decided that the historical survey prepared by the Secretariat (A/CN.4/L.161) should be included in the Yearbook.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1129th meeting (5 July 1971)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-fourth session, 2 May to 7 July 1972
    • The Special Rapporteur presented his first report on the topic, and announced that he would proceed to prepare a further report on receiving responses to a questionnaire sent out to the principal international organizations, so as to facilitate the holding of a preliminary discussion.
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-fifth session, 7 May to 13 July 1973
    • Discussed first and second reports of the Special Rapporteur. The Commission approved the general lines of the method followed by the Special Rapporteur. It requested him to begin the preparation of a set of draft articles on the basis of the reports and comments made during the session.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1238th meeting (2 July 1973), 1241st, 1242nd and 1243rd meetings (4 to 6 July 1973)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-sixth session, 6 May to 26 July 1974
    • After referring the draft articles prepared by the Special Rapporteur to the Drafting Committee, it adopted draft articles 1, 2(1)(a)(d)(e)(f)(I), 3, 4 and 6 together with commentaries on first reading. It emphasized the provisional nature of these texts.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1260th, 1274th and 1275th meetings (20 May, 10 and 11 June 1974), 1277th meeting (13 June 1974), 1279th meeting (17 June 1974), and 1291st meeting (9 July 1974)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-seventh session, 5 May to 25 July 1975
    • Adopted sub-paragraphs (b), (b bis), (b ter), (c), (c bis) and (g) of article 2, paragraph 1; articles 7 to 18, on first reading together with commentaries. Referred to the Drafting Committee draft articles 19 to 23 as submitted by the Special Rapporteur, but did not consider further.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1344th, 1345th, 1346th, 1347th, 1348th, 1349th and 1350th meetings (4 July to 14 July 1975), and 1353rd meeting (21 July 1975)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its twenty-eighth session, 3 May to 23 July 1976
    • Due to time constraints the Commission was unable to consider the topic.
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirtieth session, 8 May to 28 July 1978
    • The Commission adopted on first reading the texts of article 2, paragraph 1(h), and of articles 35, 36, 36 bis, 37 and 38, with commentaries, and referred draft articles 39, 40 and 41 to the Drafting Committee.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1507th, 1508th, 1509th, 1510th, 1511th and 1512th meetings (27 June to 5 July 1978), and 1524th meeting (24 July 1978)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirty-first session, 14 May to 3 August 1979
    • The Commission considered and adopted the articles of Part IV (amendment and modification of treaties) (articles 39 to 41) and a substantial portion of those of Part V (Invalidity, termination and suspension of the operation of treaties) (articles 42 to 60), with commentaries. The Commission also decided to transmit the draft articles so far provisionally adopted to Member States for their observations.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1546th, 1547th, 1548th, 1549th, 1550th, 1551st, 1552nd and 1553rd meetings (6 to 15 June 1979), 1557th, 1558th and 1559th meetings (21 to 25 June 1979), and 1576th meeting (25 July 1979)
  • Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its thirty-second session, 5 May to 25 July 1980
    • The Commission adopted articles 61 to 80 and the Annex with commentaries, thus completing the first reading of the draft articles. The articles adopted included Part V (Invalidity, termination and suspension of the operation of treaties) (articles 61 to 72), Part VI (Miscellaneous provisions) (articles 73 to 75) and Part VII (Depositaries, notifications, corrections and registration) (articles 76 to 80). The Annex adopted concerned the "Procedures established in application of article 66". Through the Secretary-General, the Commission requested Governments and international organizations to submit their comments and observations on the draft articles.
    • Discussion in Plenary: 1585th, 1586th, 1587th, 1588th, 1589th, 1590th, 1591st, 1592nd, 1593rd, 1594th, 1595th and 1596th meetings (6 to 22 May 1980), and 1624th meeting (2 July 1980)

General Assembly Action

  • Resolution 3315 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974
    • Recommended that the Commission proceed with the preparation of the draft articles on the topic.
 
  • Resolution 31/97 of 15 December 1976
    • Recommended that the Commission proceed with the preparation of the draft articles on the topic, on a priority basis.
 
  • Resolution 32/151 of 19 December 1977
    • Repeated its recommendation in Resolution 31/97 of 15 December 1976
 
  • Resolution 33/139 of 19 December 1978
    • Recommended that the Commission continue its work with the aim of completing the first reading of the draft articles.
 
  • Resolution 34/141 of 17 December 1979
    • Recommended that the Commission complete, at its thirty-second session in 1980, the first reading of the draft articles.
 
  • Resolution 35/163 of 15 December 1980
    • Invited the Commission to commence the second reading of the draft articles.
 
  • Resolution 36/114 of 10 December 1981
    • Recommended that the Commission complete its second reading of the draft articles at its next session.
 

Final Outcome

International Law Commission (34th session, 1982)

  • Recommended the convening of an international conference to conclude a convention.

General Assembly

  • Resolution 37/112 of 16 December 1982
    • The General Assembly decided that an international convention should be concluded on the basis of the draft articles adopted by the Commission. It also invited States and the principal international organizations to submit comments on the final draft as well as on other questions.
  • Resolution 38/139 of 19 December 1983
    • Decided that the appropriate forum for the final consideration of the draft articles was a conference of plenipotentiaries, to be convened not earlier than 1985.
  • Resolution 39/86 of 13 December 1984
  • Resolution 40/76 of 11 December 1985
    • Considered that the informal consultations, held between 18 March and 1 May and between 8 and 12 July 1985, proved useful in enabling thorough preparation for successful conduct of the Conference. The Assembly decided to transmit to the Conference, and to recommend that it adopt, the draft rules of procedure for the Conference, worked out during the informal consultations (annex I of the resolution). Also, the Assembly decided to transmit to the Conference for its consideration and action, as appropriate, a list of draft articles of the basic proposal, for which substantive consideration was deemed necessary (annex II of the resolution). Finally, the Assembly referred to the Conference for its consideration the draft final clauses presented by the co-Chairmen of the informal consultations on which an exchange of views had been held (annex III of the resolution).
 

1 The Conference was held as scheduled on 20 March 1986, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations (A/CONF.129/15) was adopted.