The administration of treaties

States are responsible for their own legislation and administer this themselves. However, there is no central organisation that administers treaties, for instance dealing with the administrative aspects of any amendments.

Duties of a depositary

When treaties are concluded, it is agreed that a state or organisation will act as depositary (i.e. administrator). The tasks of the depositary include:

  • announcing when the treaty will enter force;
  • announcing when the treaty will cease to apply;
  • keeping records of and announcing the accession of states to the treaty;
  • keeping records of and recording any further agreements or amendments.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands as depositary

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is depositary for approximately 100 treaties. If there are changes to any of those treaties, the Kingdom will notify all parties to the treaty accordingly.

Information on treaties

Information on treaties can be found in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Treaty Database.