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Activities of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations

The Legal Counsel Mr. Serpa Soares at the event "The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties at 50: an Anniversary Celebration"


23 May 2019

New York, NY


The Legal Counsel participated as keynote speaker at an event celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Canada and Colombia to the United Nations.

The anniversary event, attended by representatives of member states and treaty law experts and practitioners from around the world, featured also keynote addresses by the President of the General Assembly, Her Excellency Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa; Ms. Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada; Ms. Alejandra Valencia Gärtner, Director of International Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia and Mr. Olufemi Elias, Registrar of United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.

In his speech [link] the Legal Counsel highlighted the fundamental role of treaties in the history of international relations and their unrivaled importance as a source of international law and means of developing peaceful cooperation among nations.

Mr. Serpa Soares also referred to the history of the creation of the Convention, which establishes a versatile regime of flexible residual rules which are relied upon in treaty making, keeping this “Treaty of treaties” vital fifty years after its adoption.

The Legal Counsel renewed the invitation to all Member States to participate in the 2019 Treaty Event, which will focus on treaties in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which highlights instruments that address social, economic and environmental challenges, work towards peaceful and inclusive societies and a clean planet for sustainable development.

The United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, with the original version of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

The United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, with the original version of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
The Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, on the podium with the President of the General Assembly, Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa, and other panelists

The Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, on the podium with the President of the General Assembly, Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa, and other panelists