1. This Convention shall be open until 31 December 1958 for signature on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and also on behalf of any other State which is or hereafter becomes a member of any specialized agency of the United Nations, or which is or hereafter becomes a party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, or any other State to which an invitation has been addressed by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
2. This Convention shall be ratified and the instrument of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Travaux préparatoires on Article VIII
A. Draft Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and Comments by Governments and Organizations
A.1. ECOSOC: Report of the Committee on the Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards: 18 March 1955
A.2. Comments by Governments and Organisations on the Draft Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards: January 1956 - March 1958
A.3. Activities of Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations in the Field of International Commercial Arbitration: Consolidated Report by the Secretary-General - 24 April 1958
B. United Nations Conference On International Commercial Arbitration: Documents
B.2. Amendments to the Draft Convention Submitted by Governmental Delegations : 21 -28 May 1958
B.10. Text of Articles Adopted by the Conference: 4-6 June 1958
B.11. Text of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards as Provisionally Approved by Drafting Committee 6-9 June 1958
C. Summary Records of the United Nations Conference on International Commercial Arbitration, New York, 20 May - 10 June 1958
D.1. Summary Records of the Committee on the Enforcement of International Arbitral Awards
ANALYSIS1. Article VIII is part of the final provisions of the Convention. It sets out who may become a Party to the Convention and the procedure for becoming a party to the Convention. It also determines who acts as the depositary for the Convention.
A. Deadline for signature2. The Convention, which was concluded on 10 June 1958, was open for signature until 31 December 1958. Twenty-four States signed the Convention before this deadline.1 Article VIII(1) provides that any other States which did not sign the Convention before the deadline, have acceded, or shall then accede to the Convention in accordance with the provisions of article IX of the Convention.
1. See information on the status of the Convention on the Internet at http://www.uncitral.org/uncitral/en/uncitral_texts/arbitration/NYConvention_status.html.
B. Definition of Parties to the Convention3. The Convention is open for signature by any “Member of the United Nations”.2 Article VIII(1) further provides that the Convention is open for signature by any other State which is or becomes a member of any specialized agency of the United Nations, or which is or becomes a party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, or any other State to which the General Assembly of the United Nations addresses an invitation.
2. At the time of the adoption of the Convention in 1958, 82 States were members of the United Nations (see on the Internet: http://www.un.org/en/members/growth.shtml).
4. During the United Nations Conference International Commercial Arbitration convened for the preparation and adoption of the Convention, a debate arose concerning the use of the term “State” in the definition of who may become a Party to the Convention.3 According to some delegations, the term “State” could not be used because it had no uniform meaning.4 No “State” had been invited by the General Assembly to sign the Convention prior to 31 December 1958.
3. Still, nowadays, the Secretary-General, as depositary, has stated on a number of occasions that it would fall outside his competence to determine whether a territory or entity falls within any “all States” formula. Pursuant to a general understanding adopted by the General Assembly on 14 December 1973, the Secretary-General will, in discharging his functions as depositary of a convention with the “all States” clause, follow the practice of the General Assembly and, whenever advisable, will request the opinion of the Assembly before receiving a signature or an instrument of ratification or accession (See United Nations Juridical Yearbook, 1973 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.75.V.1), part two, chap. IV, sect. A.3 (at 79, note 9), and ibid., 1974 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.76.V.1), part two, chap. VI, sect. A.9 (at 157-159)).
4. E/2704, at 15 and E/2822, at 29; E/CONF.26/7, at 1; E/CONF.26/SR.19, at 2.
A. Procedure for becoming a party5. Article VIII(2) expressly provides for States to express their consent to be bound by the Convention by signature subject to ratification. This allows States to seek approval for the Convention at the domestic level and to enact any legislation necessary to implement the Convention domestically, prior to undertaking the legal obligations under the Convention at the international level.5
5. UN Treaty Handbook, para. 126.96.36.199. The act by which a State expresses its consent to be bound by the Convention is distinct from the Convention’s entry into force. Consent to be bound is the act whereby a State demonstrates its willingness to undertake the legal rights and obligations under the Convention through the deposit of an instrument of ratification (under article VIII(2)) or of accession (under article IX). On the other hand, entry into force is the moment the Convention becomes legally binding for a State; that is, the moment at which that State becomes Party to the Convention. That moment is defined under article XII.
B. Depositary7. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the depositary for the Convention.6 In practice, the Treaty Section of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs carries out depositary functions on behalf of the Secretary-General.
6. The Secretary-General derives his authority as depository for multilateral treaties from: (a) Article 98 of the Charter of the United Nations; (b) provisions of the treaties themselves; (c) General Assembly resolution 24 (1) of 12 February 1946; and (d) League of Nations resolution of 18 April 1946 (see UN Treaty Handbook, para. 2.1).