Under U.S. law, a treaty is an agreement reached «by the Council and the approval of the Senate» pursuant to Article II, Section 2, of Clause 2 of the Constitution. To be considered a contract under U.S. law, the document must go through a second set of steps during which it is approved by the Senate. The IHR (2005) is an international agreement between 194 States Parties and the World Health Organization on surveillance, sunshine and response to all events that could pose a threat to international public health. The objective of the IHR (2005) is to prevent, protect, control and respond to a public health response to the spread of diseases internationally, in a manner adapted to public health risks, limited to them, avoiding unnecessary intervention in international transport and trade. (International Health Regulations, Article 2). For more information, please see THE LA fact sheets. International agreements are formal agreements or commitments between two or more countries. An agreement between two countries is described as «bilateral,» while an agreement between several countries is «multilateral.» Countries bound by countries bound by an international convention are generally referred to as «Parties.» Remember that there are other international agreements concluded by the United States, which are not treaty and do not require the Council and Senate approval to be binding. These agreements are generally referred to as executive agreements (see below).
International agreements that enter into force on a different constitutional basis from that of the Council and Senate approval are «non-treaty international agreements» and are often referred to as «executive agreements.» Congress generally requires notification when such an agreement is reached. A treaty is negotiated by a group of countries, either through an organization created for this purpose or by an existing body such as the United Nations Council on Disarmament (UN). The negotiation process can take several years depending on the subject of the treaty and the number of participating countries. At the end of the negotiations, the treaty will be signed by representatives of the governments concerned. Conditions may require that the treaty be ratified and signed before it becomes legally binding. A government ratifies a treaty by tabling a ratification instrument in a treaty-defined location; the ratification instrument is a document containing formal confirmation of the Government`s acceptance of the provisions of the treaty.