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Diplomacy in Action

Publication of Treaties in Force


July 25, 2011

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Treaties in Force is published annually by the Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Treaty Affairs (L/T) for the purpose of providing information on treaties and other international agreements to which the United States has become a party and which are carried on the records of the Department of State as being in force as of a certain date. It has become a well-recognized resource utilized by L attorneys, Department employees, employees of other U.S. government agencies, courts, members of academia, librarians, and the general public. 

The Treaty Editor in L/T is responsible for the preparation and publication of Treaties in Force, with the support and assistance of others in the office. The Treaty Editor reviews a number of sources and consults with the L/T staff to determine the international agreements or information that will be added, removed, or updated in the Treaties in Force. Among the sources reviewed by the Treaty Editor are the biweekly Case Act reports to Congress, treaty files, negotiating records, data in the Treaty Information Management System, and information on the official websites of treaty depositaries.  Only unclassified bilateral and multilateral agreements are listed in the Treaties in Force.

In order to provide more current information to users, the print edition of Treaties in Force contains information on the depositary and, where available, the URL's of authoritative sources of information on current status, signatories, and parties.  The electronic edition includes hyperlinks to this information.

At the time of release, the Treaty Editor drafts a bureau-wide message and arranges to have a Department Notice sent out on the publication. The Treaty Editor also works with an electronic resources librarian in IIP/IR to send a note to a State Department world-wide list serve network announcing the availability of the updated Treaties in Force.

The print edition of Treaties in Force continues to be published, albeit in smaller quantities than in prior years in order to save costs, time, and paper. The Treaty Editor is responsible for making arrangements with L/EX and the Department’s Global Publishing Solutions to publish and to distribute a limited number of hard copies of Treaties in Force in the most cost effective manner (generally in the Fall).  While the electronic edition may be updated to show interim status, the print edition of Treaties in Force is an annual publication and will continue to reflect the status of agreements as of January 1 of the calendar year in which it is published.



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