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Joining the CCW

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Pursuant to Article 3, the Convention was opened for signature by all States at United Nations Headquarters in New York for a period of twelve months from 10 April 1981. Fifty States took advantage of this possibility and signed the Convention within the established time frame. Please note that the Convention is now closed for signature.


Pursuant to Article 4, the Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by the Signatories. Any State which has not signed this Convention may accede to it.

To become a party to the Convention the State concerned shall formally declare its consent to be bound by the CCW in accordance with its constitutional arrangements for adherence to an international agreement. These constitutional arrangements generally require domestic action by the national parliament. Once the domestic requirements have been completed, an instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval must be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his capacity as the Convention’s depositary.

Expressions of consent to be bound by any of the Protocols annexed to CCW is optional for each State, provided that at the time of the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval of this Convention or of accession thereto, that State notifies the Depositary of its consent to be bound by any two or more of these Protocols. Any Protocol by which a State party is bound forms an integral part of the Convention for that Party.

In accordance with article 4, paragraph 4 of the Convention, a State may notify the Depositary of its consent to be bound by any annexed Protocol by which it is not already bound.

Pursuant to Article 8, paragraph 1 (b), amendments to the Convention may be adopted only by the States parties to the CCW and amendments to a specific Protocol may be adopted only by the States Parties which are bound by that Protocol.

For more information, please contact Treaty Section, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations, New York, NY 10017, e-mail: treaty@un.org

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