Palestine's Accession to Multilateral Treaties: Effective Circumvention of the Statehood Question and Its Consequences
Journal of International Cooperation Studies, Vol. 25(1), July 2017
20 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2017 Last revised: 3 Apr 2017
Date Written: March 15, 2017
In the light of the question about the Palestinian statehood that divides the international community and the academic opinions, this note argues that the accession to multilateral treaties by Palestine has proven to be a clever way of circumventing this unsettled statehood question. The key to this effective circumvention is the depositary. Both in the treaties deposited with the UN Secretary-General and with a number of national governments, the instruments of accession by Palestine have been accepted by the depositaries without requiring or producing any clarification of the statehood question. The note will also show the legal and the practical consequences of the treaty accessions by Palestine. The legal consequences are different for different groups of States. As a result of the treaty accession, (1) the rights and obligations of any given treaty arise between Palestine and States that do not explicitly oppose its accession, including those who do not recognize Palestine as a State; (2) the opposing States cannot deny the accession on behalf of all the States Parties, but can at least prevent the treaty relationship from arising between Palestine and themselves. The practical consequence of the treaty accession is that within such a treaty, and strictly for the purpose of that treaty, the accession allows Palestine to act like a State.
Keywords: Palestinian statehood, multilateral treaties, depositary, international law
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