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Flurry of treaty signings accompanies summit

Flurry of treaty signings accompanies opening of Millennium Summit

6 September -- Leaders from 15 countries this morning collectively undertook over 40 treaty actions, signing on to or ratifying international instruments dealing with a broad range of human affairs -- from disarmament to biodiversity -- at a special treaty ceremony being held at United Nations Headquarters in New York in conjunction with the UN Millennium Summit.

Two new instruments -- both "Optional Protocols" to the Convention on the Rights of the Child -- received the most signatures this morning. They deal, respectively, with children in armed conflict and the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

Ambassador Wang Yingfan China was the first to take part in the ceremony, leading events by signing the Optional Protocol dealing with the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. That instrument and the Optional Protocol on children in armed conflict were also signed by Ecuador, Jordan, Portugal, Colombia, Austria Lesotho, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Belize and the Republic of Korea. Bangladesh signed and ratified both Protocols.

Women's rights also got a boost this morning, with a number of countries taking action on an Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. That Protocol requires ratifying States to allow individuals or groups who feel their rights under the Convention have been violated to petition the expert committee which monitors the treaty's implementation.

That Protocol was ratified this morning by Bangladesh and Austria, and was signed by Lesotho and Kazakhstan.

The international effort to ban landmines gained momentum as well, with Bangladesh and Colombia ratifying the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.

Jordan consented to be bound by an anti-landmine 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.

In other actions, Ecuador signed the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Bangladesh ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and consented to be bound by optional protocols to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. It also ratified the anti-landmine treaty.

Austria acceded to the Convention on the Safety of UN and Associated Personnel. Lesotho ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and acceded to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also signed the treaty against financing for terrorism. The Marshall Islands signed the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.

Belize signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Republic of Korea signed the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

ENDS

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