Treaties | Manila weather

WASHINGTON Irving, the famous American author, wrote “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, which spoke about the misadventures of the gangly Ichabod Crane. Hardly anyone remembers that in 1809 Irving wrote about treaties. He said: “At best, treaties are respected as long as an interest demands their fulfillment. Therefore, they virtually bind only the weaker party; or, frankly, they don’t bind at all.

Irving’s words have come true 89 years later. Because their interests demanded it, the United States went to war with the Spanish Empire, the weaker party that admitted it “had no means of defense.” Taking advantage of Spain’s weakness and the wars of independence in its last three colonies, America demanded that Spain cede Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, including the Marianas. The Spanish-American War broke out in the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific Ocean to Manila Bay. After a series of meetings in Paris, Spain accepted $ 20 million in return for the said colonies and signed the Treaty of Paris with the United States on December 10, 1898. In truth, as Irving said, the treaty was more restrictive for the weaker party. .

According to the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), of which the Philippines is a signatory, “a treaty is an international agreement between states in written form and governed by international law, whether incorporated into a treaty. single instrument or in two or more related instruments, and whatever its particular designation. This means that agreements made through an exchange of gifts, blood contracts, drums or smoke signals, while valid between parties with unusual arrangements, will not be governed by the provisions of the VCLT because they are not in written form.

A treaty comes to life when a problem that must be resolved by agreement arises between two or more states. Because states involved in disputes must protect their national interests through thick and thin, intense negotiations take place with frantic exchanges of memoranda before a treaty is finally signed.

Representatives with “full powers” may submit a memorandum or memorandum that describes the issues that need to be resolved through negotiations and therefore through a treaty. A “proposal” is made which contains suggestions on how to resolve the issues that should be addressed by the treaty. In the context of the VCLT, “full powers” mean a document of a State designating a person or persons to represent it to negotiate, adopt or authenticate the text of a treaty, to express consent to be bound by a treaty. , or to do any other act with respect to a treaty.

By virtue of executive decree 459, art. 1997, “full powers” ​​are conferred by the President who can delegate this function to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

The person signing the treaty is considered to have “full powers” ​​to represent his State for the purpose of adopting the treaty when he produces the required document enabling him to represent his State in the process of concluding the treaty and, when the signature of it. According to EO 459, the following persons have “full powers” ​​by virtue of their functions: a) Secretary of Foreign Affairs; (b) heads of Philippine diplomatic missions, for the purpose of adopting the text of an agreement between the Philippines and the state to which they are accredited; (c) representatives accredited by the Philippines to an international conference or to an international organization or one of its organs, for the purpose of adopting the text of a treaty in that conference, organization or organ.

The parties may, if necessary, issue a communiqué which is defined as a cleverly written summary of the main points of a diplomatic dialogue covering, among other things, the state of progress of negotiations on the treaty.

The word “treaty” in the context of the VCLT is a generic description of a legal instrument by which states create binding obligations among themselves, but it can be known by several names: 1) convention; 2) protocol; 3) composition; 4) pact; 5) exchange of notes; and (6) framework agreements.

A convention is an agreement signed by several states concerning matters of concern to all. A protocol is also an agreement between states, but less formal. However, the lack of formality makes it nothing less than a binding agreement. Protocols generally deal with the implementation of previously signed treaties, such as the first optional protocol to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which deals with the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on Civil and Political Rights and constitutes therefore an amendment to the treaty. .

A concordat is a treaty between a state and the Pope, representing Vatican City or the Holy See. A concordat deals with ecclesiastical questions. Pacts are treaties that usually deal with defense issues like the Warsaw Pact.

(To be continued on January 15, 2022)

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