How does an international agreement get adopted? What happens after? When does it come into effect? You’ve been asking all these questions as the Paris Agreement signing date approaches. The United Nations gives the answers:
Why is this signing ceremony being held on 22 April?
The Paris Agreement calls for the Agreement to be open for signature from 22 April, 2016 to 21 April, 2017. To mark the first day that the Agreement will be open for signing (which coincides with Earth Day), United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited leaders from all countries to attend a high-level signing ceremony to accelerate climate action and to drive the political momentum towards ratification and early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.
Didn’t countries already adopt the Paris Agreement in Paris? Didn’t they agree to everything?
On 12 December, 2015, countries adopted the text of the Paris Agreement. This was an historic moment that marked the conclusion of years of negotiations on a universal approach to addressing climate change. In Paris, the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change came to an understanding of the terms of the Agreement. There are still a few steps that are necessary before the Agreement enters into force.
What has to happen next for the Paris Agreement to enter into force?
The first step is for countries to sign the Agreement. This signals their intention to launch the domestic processes for the ratification or acceptance of the Agreement. Once these processes are concluded, Governments will formally deposit with the United Nations Secretary-General, who is the depositary of the Paris Agreement, their instrument of ratification, approval, acceptance or accession, by which they consent to be bound by the Agreement.
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