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H.E. Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg signed the International Tropical Timber Agreement at the UN Headquarters

(This article expired 29.10.2013.)

On September 23, 2008, Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg signed the International Tropical Timber Agreement in the framework of the so-called Treaty Event through which the UN aims to increase the number of parties to important international treaties and to strengthen the role of international law. The Czech Republic also deposited the instrument of ratification to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and Associated Personnel.

On September 23, 2008, the Czech Republic deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations in the United Nations Headquarters in New York the instrument of ratification to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and Associated Personnel, adopted in New York on December 8, 2005, and thus, it became a Party of this Optional Protocol. The Czech Republic ratified the Optional Protocol in the framework of the Treaty Event through which the United Nations aims to increase the number of parties of important international treaties in order to strengthen the role of the international law in international relations. Also on this occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg signed, on behalf of the Czech Republic, the International Tropical Timber Agreement, adopted in Geneva on January 27, 2006, with reservation in respect of ratification.

Treaty Event H.E. Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg signs the International Tropical Timber Agreement accompanied by H.E. Martin Palouš and Mr. Jan Kubišta, legal adviser of the CzechMission to the UN

The Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and Associated Personnel was adopted in 1994 in order to hold the perpetrators liable for attacks committed upon the United Nations and associated personnel during certain United Nations operations. The main objective of the Optional Protocol, supplementing the Convention, is to extend the scope of protection of the United Nations and associated personnel to all other operations of the United Nations, which the Convention does not cover. Such operations are oriented on providing humanitarian, political or development aid during peace building and providing humanitarian relief in emergency situations. The obligations stemming from the Optional Protocol are implemented through the Czech legislation, in particular through the Criminal Code and the Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Czech Republic has deposited its instrument of ratification to the Optional Protocol as the 15th state of the world community. The Optional Protocol has not yet come into force. It shall happen after 22 states express their consent to be bound by the Optional Protocol.

The Czech Republic became the 31st signatory of the International Tropical Timber Agreement. By signing of this Agreement, the Czech Republic intends to become a member of the International Tropical Timber Organization in the future, after the ratification of the Agreement. This organization constitutes an effective institutional framework for consultations and international cooperation in the area of tropical timber trade with the goal to contribute to the sustainable development, environmental stability and poverty mitigation in the tropical timber-producing states. Simultaneously, the participation of the Czech Republic in the activities of the International Tropical Timber Organization would also be a demonstration of the support to developing countries with regard to the high share of the tropical timber sector in the economy of many developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In the future, the Czech Republic could also participate in some developing and commercial projects in this area. The International Tropical Timber Agreement should also help to preserve the rights of indigenous and rural populations dependent on tropical forests.

Treaty Event

Special thanks to Paul Weissleder, UN Treaty Section for the pictures

To get the photographs in a higher resolution please contact Borek Lizec, spokesman of the Mission at borek_lizec@mzv.cz .