On 3 February 2020, the Seychelles became the 162nd State party to accede to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“the Convention“). The Convention entered into force for the Seychelles on 3 May 2020.[1] Shortly thereafter on 31 March 2020, Palau, an island nation located in the Western Pacific Ocean, became the 163rd State party to accede to the Convention. The Convention will enter into force for Palau on 29 June 2020.[2]

In order for a State party to become a party to the Convention, it has to first express its consent to be bound by the Convention by depositing an instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the United Nations. This is provided in Article IX (2) of the Convention. An instrument of accession must include certain information, including an unambiguous expression of the intent of the Government, on behalf of the State, to consider itself bound by the treaty and to undertake faithfully to observe and implement its provisions.[3] The Convention then enters into force for a State party on the ninetieth day after deposit of the instrument of accession.[4]

In addition to the Seychelles and Palau, it is reported that Ethiopia’s parliament approved ratification of the Convention on 13 February 2020.[5] However, as per information available on UNCITRAL’s official website regarding the status of signatories to the Convention, Ethiopia is not a party to the Convention.[6]

It is likely that while its parliament has approved its accession to the Convention, thereby signifying Ethiopia’s intention to be bound by the treaty and its provisions, the State has not yet formally deposited its instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the United Nations. Once Ethiopia deposits its instrument of ratification with the UN Secretary General, the total number of Contracting State parties to the Convention will then go up to 164, and the Convention will enter into force for Ethiopia on the ninetieth day after deposit of its instrument of accession.

 

[1] http://www.newyorkconvention.org/news/the+seychelles+accedes+to+the+new+york+convention

[2] http://www.newyorkconvention.org/news/palau+accedes+to+the+convention+on+the+new+york+convention

[3] United Nations Treaty Handbook para. 3.3.5 and annex 5. The instrument of accession must include: (i) the title, date and place of conclusion of the treaty concerned; (ii) the full name and title of the person signing the instrument, i.e., Head of State, Head of Government or Minister for Foreign Affairs or any other person acting in such a position for the time being or with full powers for that purpose issued by one of the above authorities; (iii) an unambiguous expression of the intent of the Government, on behalf of the State, to consider itself bound by the treaty and to undertake faithfully to observe and implement its provisions; (iv) the date and place where the instrument was issued; and (v) the signature of the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister for Foreign Affairs (the official seal only is not adequate) or any other person acting in such a position for the time being or with full powers for that purpose issued by one of the above authorities. https://www.uncitral.org/pdf/english/texts/arbitration/NY-conv/2016_Guide_on_the_Convention.pdf

[4] Article XII (2) of the Convention.

[5] http://www.newyorkconvention.org/news/ethiopia+ratifies+the+new+york+convention

[6] https://uncitral.un.org/en/texts/arbitration/conventions/foreign_arbitral_awards/status2