Model instruments of ratification or accession to IHL treaties


IHL (International Humanitarian Law) treaties are important legal instruments that aim to protect individuals and limit the effects of armed conflicts. Instruments of ratification or accession are the formal documents through which states express their consent to be bound by the provisions of these treaties. While I can provide a general template, it’s important to note that the specific requirements may vary depending on the treaty and the domestic laws and practices of each country. Here’s an example of a typical instrument of ratification or accession:

[State’s Letterhead]

To: [Name and Address of Receiving Authority]
Subject: Instrument of Ratification/Accession to [Name of IHL Treaty]


I have the honor to inform you that the Government of [State Name] has decided to ratify/accession to the [Name of IHL Treaty] and, in accordance with the domestic procedures of our country, hereby submits the following instrument:

  1. [Full Title of the Treaty]:
    [Full Citation of the Treaty, including date of adoption]
  2. [Type of Instrument]:
    [Ratification or Accession]
  3. [Declaration/Reservations (if applicable)]:
    [Specify any declarations, reservations, or understandings made by the State in relation to the treaty, if applicable. This should be consistent with the provisions of the treaty itself.]
  4. [Legal Authority]:
    [Specify the domestic legal authority under which the State is ratifying/accession to the treaty.]
  5. [Entry into Force]:
    [Specify the date on which the treaty will enter into force for the State.]
  6. [Depositary]:
    [Specify the name and contact information of the depositary for the treaty.]

Enclosed herewith, please find the duly executed instrument of ratification/accession, signed by the competent authority of [State Name].

We kindly request that you acknowledge receipt of this instrument and register it in accordance with the procedures set forth in the treaty. Furthermore, please convey this instrument to all relevant parties and disseminate it to the Member States of the treaty and any other relevant entities.

The Government of [State Name] reaffirms its commitment to fulfilling its obligations under the [Name of IHL Treaty] and to promoting the principles and purposes of international humanitarian law.

Please accept, Sir/Madam, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Yours sincerely,

[Name and Title of Authorized Representative]
[Contact Information]

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