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Human Rights Declarations in Asia-Pacific Category


Draft Pacific Charter of Human Rights

Preamble

The Parties to the present Charter,

Recognizing that the peoples of the Pacific who have formed diverse cultures, customs and traditions are equal to all other peoples and societies in dignity and rights;

Recognizing that all peoples have contributed and continue to contribute to the progress of civilizations and cultures which constitute common heritage of humankind;

Recognizing the need to promote and to protect those rights and characteristics which stem from the Pacific peoples' history, philosophy of life, traditions and social structures, especially those tied to those territories, of the earth which these peoples have traditionally occupied;

Concerned that all doctrines and practices social, ethnic or cultural superiority are legally wrong, morally condemnable and socially unjust;

Believing that peoples operating as a collective should be free to manage their own affairs to the greatest extent possible, while enjoying equal rights with other citizens in the political, economic and social life of the states;

Mindful of the international instruments protecting the ideals of the individual and the collective rights of persons;

Convinced that the states of the region should adopt a Charter reinforcing and complementing the protection of rights under the domestic law of Pacific jurisdictions; and

Concerned that persons , having duties to their families and communities, and to other persons, are under the obligation to observe the rights and duties recognized in the present Charter.

Have agreed as follows:

General Provisions

Article 1 - The Obligation of the Parties

The Parties to the present Charter shall recognize the rights, freedoms and duties enshrined in this Charter and shall undertake to adopt legislative, executive or other measures to give to them.

Article 2 - Equal enjoyment of Charter rights

Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, economic status, birth or other status.

Article 3 - Equality before the law and equal protection

  1. Every individual shall be equal before the law.

  2. Every individual shall be entitled to equal protection of the law.

Civil and Political Rights

Article 4 - Right to Life and Integrity of the Person

Human beings are inviolable. All human beings shall be entitled to respect for their lives and the integrity of their persons. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.

Article 5 - Respect for human dignity

All individuals shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in all human beings and to recognition as persons before the law. All forms of exploitation and degradation of humans, particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment, shall be prohibited.

Article 6 - Liberty and Security of the Person

All individuals shall have the right to personal liberty and security. No one may be deprived of freedom unless the reasons for doing so have been laid down previously in law and the person is provided with due process of law. In particular, no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained.

Article 6A - Searches, Seizures and Invasion of Privacy

The right of individuals to be secure in their persons, houses and papers, and other possessions against unreasonable searches, seizures, or invasions of privacy may not be violated. A warrant may not issue except on probable cause, supported by affidavit particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized or the communication to be intercepted.

Article 6B - Right to Honour and Reputation

All individuals shall have the right to be free from unlawful attacks on their honour or reputation.

Possible Composite Article

  1. All individuals shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in al human beings and to recognition as persons before the law. All forms of exploitation and degradation of humans particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment shall be prohibited.

  1. All individuals shall have the right to personal liberty and security. No one may be deprived of freedom unless the reasons for doing so have been laid down previously in law and the person is provided with due process [of] law. In particular, no one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained.

  1. The right of individuals to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and other possessions against unreasonable searches, seizures or invasions of privacy may not be violated. A warrant may not issue except on probable cause, supported by affidavit particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized or the communication sought to be intercepted.

  1. All individuals shall have the right to be free from unlawful attacks on their honor or reputation.

Article 7 - Access to Justice Rights

  1. All individuals shall have the right to have their causes heard in fair and public hearings by independent, competent and impartial tribunals established by law. The press and the public may be excluded from all or part of a trial for reasons of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, or when the interest of the private lives of the parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice; but any judgement rendered in civil or criminal case shall be made public except where the interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern matrimonial disputes or the guardianship of children.

  1. All individuals shall have the right to an appeal to competent national organs against acts violating their fundamental rights as recognized and guaranteed by conventions, laws, regulations and customs in force.

Article 7A - Rights to a Fair Trial

  1. Every individual charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

  2. Every individual who is charged with a criminal offence has the right

    1. To be informed of the right to obtain legal assistance;

    2. To communicate with a lawyer;

    3. To receive legal assistance without cost if the interests of justice so require and the person lacks sufficient means to pay for the assistance;

    4. To have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence;

    5. To be present at any trial relating to the offence and to present a defence;

    6. To examine the witnesses against the person;

    7. To obtain the attendance of, and to examine, witnesses for the person;

    8. To have the free assistance of an interpreter if the person cannot understand or speak the language used in court; and

    9. Not to be compelled to testify or confess guilt.

  1. No one may be condemned for an act or omission which did not constitute a legally punishable offence at the time it was committed. No penalty may be inflicted for an offence for which no provision was made at the time it was committed. Punishment is personal and can be imposed only on the offender.

  2. Every individual convicted of a criminal offence shall have the right to have the conviction or sentence reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.

  3. No individual finally convicted or acquitted of a criminal offence shall be tried or punished again for the same offence or for substantially the same offence arising out of the same facts.

    1. The right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty by a competent court or tribunal;

    2. The right to defence, including the right to be defended by counsel of his choice;

    3. The right to be tried within a reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal;

    4. No one may be condemned for an act or omission which did not constitute a legally punishable offence at the time it was committed. No penalty may be inflicted for an offence for which no provision was made at the time it was committed. Punishment is personal and can be imposed only on the offender.

Article 8 - Freedom of Conscience and Religion

  1. Freedom of conscience and the profession and free practice of religion shall be guaranteed.

  2. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to invalidate reasonable restrictions imposed by law on the time, place, or manner of conduct, provided

    1. The restrictions are necessary to preserve public peace, order, health, or security or the rights or freedom of others;

    2. There exist no less restrictive means of doing so; and

    3. The restrictions do not penalize conduct on the basis of disagreement with the ideas or beliefs expressed.

Article 9 - Freedom of Expression

  1. All individuals shall have the right to receive information.

  2. All individuals shall have the right to express and disseminate their opinions.

  3. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to invalidate reasonable restrictions imposed by law on the time, place, or manner of conduct, provided

    1. The restrictions are necessary to preserve public peace, order, health, or security or the rights or freedom of others;

    2. There exist no less restrictive means of doing so; and

    3. The restrictions do not penalize conduct on the basis of disagreement with the ideas or beliefs expressed.

Article 10 - Freedom of Association

  1. All individuals shall have the right to free association with others including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of their interests.

Article 11 - Freedom of Assembly

Every individual shall have the right to assemble freely with others.

Article 12 - Freedom of Movement

  1. Every individual shall have the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of a State subject to those restrictions established by law that are necessary in a democratic society in the interest of national security or to protect public health.

  2. Every individual shall have the right to leave any country including his own, and to return to his country. This right may only be subject to restrictions, provided for by law for the protection of national security, law and order or public health.

  3. Every individual shall have the right, when prosecuted, to seek and obtain asylum in other countries in accordance with laws of those countries and international conventions.

  4. A non-national legally admitted in a territory of a Party to the present Charter may only be expelled from it by virtue of a decision taken in accordance with the law.

  5. The mass expulsion of non-nationals shall be prohibited. Mass expulsion shall be that which is aimed at national, racial, ethnic or religious groups.

Article 13 - Right to Vote and to Participate in Political Life

  1. All citizens shall have the right to participate freely in the government of their country, either directly or through freely chose representatives.

  2. All citizens shall have the right of equal access to the public service of their country.

  3. Every individual shall have the right of access to public property and services in strict equality of all persons before the law.

  4. Every citizen shall have the right to participate effectively in the decisions affecting the citizen in relation to economic and social development in the country.

Article 14 - The Right to Property

The right to property shall be guaranteed. It may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community and in accordance with a law that provides for appropriate compensation.

Article 14A - Rights of Minorities

In those Parties in which ethnic, [religious] or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess their own religion, or to use their own language.

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Article 15A - Right to Adequate Living Standards

Every individual shall have the right to an adequate standard of living both for the person and the person's family including adequate food, clothing ad housing, and to the continuous improvement of living standards.

Article 15 - Right to Work

Every individual shall have the right to work under equitable and satisfactory conditions, and shall receive equal pay for work of equal value.

Article 16 - Right to Health

  1. Every individual shall have the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health.

  2. Parties to the present Charter shall take the necessary measures to protect the health of their people and to ensure that they receive counselling and medical attention when they are sick.

Article 17 - Right to Education

  1. Every individual shall have the right to education.

  2. All individuals may freely take part in the cultural life of their communities.

  3. Each Party shall protect the traditional values recognized by its communities.

Article 18 - Right of the Family

  1. The family shall be the natural unit and basis of society and shall be protected by each Party.

Article 18A - Rights of Women, Children and Youths

Each Party shall ensure the elimination of every discrimination against women and also ensure the protection of the rights of women, children and youths as stipulated in international declarations and conventions.

Article 18B - Right of the Aged and the Disabled

The aged and the disabled shall also have the right to special measures of protection in keeping with their physical and social needs.

Rights of Peoples

Article 19 - Rights to Equality and Non-Domination

All peoples shall be equal; they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by another and in particular Articles 19 to 23 of the Charter shall apply to indigenous people who have become a minority in their own land.

Article 20 - Rights to Existence and Self Determination

  1. All peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self- determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.

  2. Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means recognized by the international community.

  3. All peoples shall have the right to the assistance of the Parties to the present Charter in their liberation struggle against foreign domination, be it political, economic or cultural.

Article 21 - Rights to Dispose of own Resources

  1. All peoples shall have the right to dispose of their wealth and natural resources freely. This right shall be exercised in the exclusive interest and benefit of the people. In no case shall a people be deprived of it.

  2. In case of spoliation the dispossessed people shall have the right to the lawful recovery of its property as well as to an adequate compensation.

  3. The free disposal of wealth and natural resources shall be exercised without prejudice to the obligation of promoting international economic cooperation based on mutual respect, equitable exchange and the principles of international law.

  4. Parties to the present Charter shall undertake to eliminate all forms of foreign economic exploitation particularly that practiced by international monopolies so as to enable their peoples to benefit from the advantages derived from their national resources.

Article 22 - Right to Economic, Social and Cultural Development

  1. All peoples shall have the right to their economic, social and cultural development with due regard to their freedom and identity and in the equal enjoyment of the common heritage of humankind.

  2. Parties shall have the duty, individually or collectively, to ensure the exercise of the right to development.

Article 22A - Right to Peace and Security

All peoples shall have the right to national and international peace and security.

Duties of the Parties

Article 25 - Duty to Promote Respect for Rights

Parties to the present Charter shall have the duty to promote and ensure through teaching, education and publication, the respect of the rights and freedoms contained in the present Charter and see to it that these freedoms and rights as well as corresponding obligations and duties are understood.

Article 26 - Duty to Guarantee the Independence of the Courts and Other Institutions Protecting Rights

Parties to the present Charter shall have the duty to guarantee the independence of the Courts and shall allow the establishment and improvement of appropriate national institutions entrusted with the promotion and protection of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the present Charter.

Article 26A - Duty of Governmental Bodies to Give Effect to the Charter

It is the duty of all governmental bodies within each Party to apply and give effect to the provisions of this Charter.

Duties of Individuals

Article 27 - Duties Towards Family, Society and Communities

  1. Individual shall have duties towards their families and society, the Parties and other legally recognized communities and the regional and international community.

  2. Individuals shall exercise their rights and freedoms with due regard to the rights of others, collective security, morality and common interest.

Article 28 - Duty to Respect Other Individuals Without Discrimination

Individuals shall have the duty to respect and consider their fellow beings without discrimination, and to develop and maintain relations aimed at promoting, safeguarding and reinforcing mutual respect and tolerance.

Article 29 - Certain Specific Duties of Individuals

Individuals shall have the duty:

  1. To preserve harmonious development of the family and to work for its cohesion and respect.

  2. To work to the best of their abilities and competence, to use their skills and abilities for the betterment of their communities, and to pay taxes imposed by law in accordance with their means in the interests of society.

  3. To preserve and strengthen positive Pacific cultural values in their relations with other members of the society, in the spirit of tolerance, dialogue and consultation and, in general, to contribute to the promotion of the well being of society.

Establishment and Organization of the Pacific Human Rights Commission

Article 30.

A Pacific Human Rights Commission, hereafter called "the Commission", shall be established to promote human and peoples' rights and ensure their protection in the Pacific region.

Article 31.

  1. The Commission shall consist of seven members chosen from amongst Pacific personalities of the highest reputation, known for their high morality, integrity, impartiality and competence in matters of human and peoples' rights with particular consideration being given to persons having legal experience.

  2. The members of the Commission shall serve in their personal capacity.

Article 32.

The Commission shall not include more than one national of the same Party.

Article 33.

The members of the Commission shall be elected by secret ballot by the Parties to the Charter, from a list of persons nominated by the Parties to the present Charter.

Article 34.

Each Party to the present Charter may not nominate more than two candidates. The candidates must be residents of one of the Parties to the present Charter. When two candidates are nominated by a Party, one of them may not be resident of that Party.

Article 35.

  1. The Director of the South Pacific Bureau of Economic Cooperation shall invite Parties to the present Charter at least four months before the elections to nominate candidates;

  2. The Director shall make an alphabetical list of the persons thus nominated and communicate it to the Parties at least one month before the elections.

Article 36.

The members of the Commission shall be elected for a six-year period and shall be eligible for re-election once. However, the term of office of three of the members elected at the first election shall terminate after three years and the term of office four others, at the end of six years.

Article 37.

Immediately after the first election, the Director of the South Pacific Bureau of Economic Cooperation shall draw lots to decide the names of those members referred to in Article 36.

Article 38.

After their election, the members of the Commission shall make a solemn declaration to discharge their duties impartially and faithfully.

Article 39.

  1. In case of death or resignation of a member of the Commission, the President of the Commission shall immediately inform the Director of the South Pacific Bureau of Economic Cooperation, who shall declare the seat vacant from the date of death or from the date on which the resignation takes effect.

  2. If, in the unanimous opinion of other members of the Commission, a member has stopped discharging his or her duties for any reason other than a temporary absence, the President of the Commission shall inform the Director, who shall then declare the seat vacant.

  3. In each of the cases anticipated above, the Parties shall replace the member whose seat became vacant for the remaining period of that member's term unless the period is less than six months.

Article 40.

Every member of the Commission shall be in office until the date of the successor assumes office.

Article 41.

The President of the Commission shall appoint the Executive Director and the other staff of the commission, in consultation with the other commissioners. The Parties along the lines of the formulae used by other regional organizations shall bear the costs of the staff and services.

Article 42.

  1. The Commission shall elect its President and Vice-President for a two year period. They shall be eligible for re-election.

  2. The Commission shall lay down it rules of procedure.

  3. Four members shall form a quorum.

  4. In case of an equality of votes, the President shall have a casting vote.

Article 43.

In discharging their duties, members of the Commission shall enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities.

Functions of the Commission

Article 45.

The functions of the Commission shall be to promote respect for and defense of human and peoples' rights. In the exercise of its mandate, it shall have the following functions and powers:

  1. to develop an awareness of human and peoples' rights among the peoples of the Pacific region by programmes of education, dissemination of materials, and other appropriate means;

  2. to make recommendations to the governments of Parties, when it considers such action adviseable or when requested to do so by the government of a Party, for the adoption of measures in favour of human and peoples' rights within the framework if their domestic law as appropriate measures to further the observance of those rights

  3. to collect documents, undertake studies and research on Pacific problems in the filed of human and peoples' rights, organize seminars, symposia and conferences, disseminate information, encourage national and local institutions concerned with human and peoples' rights;

  4. co-operate with other Pacific and international institutions concerned with the promotion and protection of human and people's rights;

  5. when requested by a Party, to advise it and assist it in the processes of acceding to and giving effect to regional or international treaties dealing with human and people's rights;

  6. when requested by a Party, to assist it in the preparation of reports the Party is required to submit under the regional or international treaties dealing with human and peoples' rights;

  7. to respond to enquiries made by the Parties on matters related to human and peoples' rights and, within the limits of its resources, to provide those Parties with the services they request;

  8. to assist individuals and peoples to understand how to protect and enforce human rights within their own legal systems;

  9. when requested by the affected Parties, to assist them settle disputes which have arisen between them relating to human and peoples' rights;

  10. to take action on petitions and other communications pursuant to its authority under the provisions of Articles 47 to 59 of the present Charter;

  11. to consider and to make comments on and recommendations to the Director of the South Pacific Bureau of Economic Cooperation on reports submitted to it under Article 62 by the Parties to the present Charter;

  12. to prepare such studies and reports it considers advisable in the performance of its duties; and

  13. to make an annual report on its activities through the Director of the South Pacific Bureau of Economic Co-operation, to the Parties to the present Charter. This report shall be published and [made] available to the public.

Article 45A.

The Parties undertake to provide the Commission with such information as it may request of them as to the manner in which their domestic law ensures the effective application of any of the provisions of the present Charter.

Procedure of the Commission

Article 46.

The Commission may resort to any appropriate method of investigation.

Communication from States

Article 47

If a Party to the present Charter has good reasons to believe that another Party to this Charter has violated the provisions of the Charter, it may draw, by written communication, the attention of that Party to the matter. This communication shall also be addressed to the President of the Commission. Within three months of the receipt of the communication, the Party to which communication is addressed shall give the enquiring Party written explanation or statement elucidating the matter. This response should include as much relevant information as possible relating to the laws and rules of procedure applied and applicable, and the redress already given or course of action available.

Article 48.

If within three months from the date on which the original communicatin is received by the Party to which it is addresses, the issue is not settled to the satisfaction of the two Parties involved through bilateral negotiation or by any other peaceful procedure, either Party shall have the right to submit the matter to the Commission through the President and shall notify the other Parties involved.

Article 49.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 47, if a Party to the present Charter considers that another Party has violated the provisions of the Charter, it may refer the matter directly to the Commission by addressing a communication to the President, and the Party concerned.

Article 50.

The Commission can only deal with a matter admitted to it after making sure that all local remedies, if they exist, have been exhausted, unless it is obvious to the Commission that the procedure of pursuing these remedies would be unduly prolonged.

Article 51.

  1. The Commission may ask the Parties concerned to provide it with all relevant information.

  2. When the Commission is considering the matter, Parties concerned may be represented before it and may submit written or oral representations.

Article 52.

After having obtained from the Parties concerned and from other sources all information it deems necessary and after having tried all appropriate means to reach an amicable solution based on the respect of human and peoples' rights, the Commission shall prepare, within a reasonable period of time from the notification referred to in Article 48, a report stating the facts and its findings. This report shall be sent to the Parties concerned and communicated to all Parties to the Charter.

Article 53.

When transmitting its report, the Commission may make to the Parties such recommendations as it deems useful.

[Note: Article 54 is now covered by Article 45 (k)]

Communications from Individuals or Groups

Article 55.

  1. Before each Session, the Executive Director of the Commission shall make a list of the communications other than those of Parties to the present Charter and transmit them to the members of the Commission, who shall indicate which communications should be considered by the Commission.

  2. A communication shall be considered by the Commission if a simple majority of its members so decide.

Article 56.

  1. Communications relating to human and peoples' rights referred to in Article 55 received by the Commission, shall be considered if they:

    1. Indicate their authors even if the latter request anonymity;

    2. Are compatible with the present Charter;

    3. Are not written in disparaging or insulting language directed against the Parties concerned;

    4. Are not based exclusively on news disseminated through the mass media;

    5. Are sent after exhausting domestic remedies;

    6. Are submitted within reasonable period from the time local remedies are exhausted or from the date the Commission is seized of the matter; and

    7. Do not deal with cases that have been settled by the Parties involved in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations or the provisions of the present Charter.

  1. The requirement of exhausting of domestic remedies in paragraph 1 shall not apply when:

    1. The domestic law of the Party does not afford due process of law for the protection of the right or rights that allegedly have been violated;

    2. The person or group alleging violation of rights or suffering has been prevented from exhausting their violation of rights or has been denied access to remedies under the domestic law;

    3. There has been unwarranted delay in finalizing domestic remedies.

Article 57.

Prior to any substantive consideration, all communications shall be brought to the knowledge of the Party concerned by the President of the Commission.

Article 58.

When it appears after deliberations of the Commission that one or more communications apparently relate to special cases that reveal the existence of a series of serious or massive violations of human and peoples' rights, the Commission may decide to undertake an in-depth study of these cases and make a factual report, accompanied by its findings and recommendations.

Article 59.

  1. All measures taken within the provisions of the present Charter shall remain confidential until such time as the Parties concerned have had sufficient time to address the problems identified.

  2. However, the report shall be published by the Commission upon the decision of the Commission, undertaken after consultation with the affected parties.

Applicable Principles

Article 60.

The Commission shall draw inspiration from international law on human and peoples' rights, particularly from the provisions of various Pacific consultations and regional arrangements, the Charter of the United Nations, the present Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, other instruments adopted within the Specialized Agencies of the United Nations of which the parties to the present Charter are members.

Article 61.

The Commission shall also take into consideration, as subsidiary measures to determine the principles of law other regional or special international conventions, laying down rules expressly recognized by Parties to the present Charter, Pacific practices consistent with international norms on human and peoples' rights; customs generally accepted as law; general principles of law recognized by the Pacific states; as well as legal precedents and doctrine.

Article 61A.

The Parties recognize the customs and traditions of the diverse communities in this region. The rights, freedoms and duties recognized in this Charter shall be interpreted and understood by the Parties and the Commission in light of these customs and traditions.

Article 62.

Each Party shall undertake to submit every two years, from the date the present Charter comes into force, a report on the legislative or other measures taken with a view to giving effect to the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed by the present Charter.

Article 63.

  1. The present Charter shall be open to signature, ratification or adherence of all communities in the Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea in the southwest, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam in the northwest, Hawaii in the northeast, Easter Island in the southeast, and all political entities contained within these geographical boundaries.

  2. The instruments of ratification or adherence to the present Charter shall be deposited with the Director of the South Pacific Bureau of Economic Cooperation.

  3. The present Charter shall come into force three months after the reception by the Director of the instruments of ratification or adherence of eight of the political entities of the Pacific.

General Provisions

Article 64.

  1. After the coming into force of the present Charter, members of the Commission shall be elected in accordance with the relevant Articles of the present Charter.

  2. The Director of the South Pacific Bureau of Economic Cooperation shall convene the first meeting of the Commission at the Headquarters of the Bureau within three months of the constitution of the Commission. Thereafter, the Commission shall be convened by its President whenever necessary but at least once a year.

Article 65.

For each of the Parties that will ratify or adhere to the present Charter after its coming into force, the Charter shall take effect three months after the date of the deposit by the Party of its instrument of ratification or adherence.

Article 66.

Special protocols or agreements may, if necessary, supplement the provisions of the present Charter.

Article 67.

The Director of the South Pacific Bureau of Economic Cooperation shall inform each political entity in the region of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or adherence.

Article 68.

The present Charter may be amended if a Party makes a written request to that effect to the Director of the South Pacific Bureau of Economic Cooperation. The Parties may only consider the draft amendment after all the Parties have been duly informed of it and the Commission has given its opinion on it at the request of the sponsoring Parties. The amendment shall be approved by a simple majority of the Parties. It shall come into force for each Party which has accepted it in accordance with its constitutional procedure three months after the Director has received notice of the acceptance.


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