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United Nations - Office of Legal Affairs

Strategy for an Era of Application
of International Law - Action Plan

Adopted by the Senior Management Group and Approved by the Secretary-General, June 2000

Download Action Plan in PDF

A. Introduction

The Charter Mandate

The Charter envisages that the United Nations will take action to enhance respect for international law. The preamble of the Charter thus calls on Member States “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained”. An important aim of the United Nations is, therefore, to bring about the implementation both of treaties and of rules of customary international law.

Nature of the Action Plan

This Plan identifies actions which Secretariat units, Programmes, Funds and Agencies might take in order to promote the better implementation of international law.

For the most part, these actions:

Are already within the competence of the Secretariat, Programmes, Funds and Agencies and do not require any further mandate from any political organ or the voting of any additional resources;

Use and build upon existing mechanisms and practices; and

Engage and make use of the resources of civil society, in particular, of NGOs, given their ever more important role in the development and implementation of international law.

Some actions, however, would require a decision by apolitical organ, in order to provide either the necessary mandate or the necessary financial or human resources or both.

The Plan is action oriented and is meant to be a working tool that can be used in all sectors of the Organization. All actions are indicated in italics. It goes without saying that some of these actions are already being taken in certain parts of the Organization.

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