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http://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/federal-gazette/2007/5291.pdf «Le rôle de la Suisse en tant que dépositaire des Conventions de Genève»
Annex 2 to the Foreign Policy Report of 15 June 2007 (FF 2007 5291) (fr)

Specialist Contact
Directorate of International Law DIL
Treaty Section
CH-3003 Berne
Tel. + 41 (0)31 322 30 79
Fax + 41 (0)31 325 07 29

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Switzerland is the depositary state for 79 international treaties.

The functions of the depositary are in principle limited to the reception, formal review, transmission and storage of communications and acts of current or future States parties. The depositary may also control the compliance with the formal requirements that States have to meet about a particular act. E.g. it can return an instrument of accession which is not signed by a person duly authorized under international law. It can also control in each case whether the conditions for accession to a treaty are effectively met.

However, it is not for the depositary to exercise a substantive control over the acts submitted to it. This competency lies exclusively with the States Parties. E.g. the control of the substantive admissibility of reservations to a treaty lies in the exclusive competence of the States parties.

When it comes to wearing a material judgment on any particular treaty action, the depositary that would be simultaneously a State party has to distinguish its role as depositary from its position as State party. The depositary is required to act impartially in the performance of its functions (see art. 76–80 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties). 

The following information on each treaty can be found under the links in the margin:

  • original text
  • list of parties to the treaty
  • reservations and declarations
  • notifications of the depositary

These pages are only available in French, but contain notifications and treaty texts in all their original languages.