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date: 03 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The United Nations is a vital part of the international order. Yet this book argues that the greatest contribution of the UN is not what it has achieved (improvements in health and economic development) or avoided (global war or the use of weapons of mass destruction). It is, instead, the process through which the UN has transformed the structure of international law to expand the range and depth of subjects covered by treaties. The book offers the first sustained analysis of the UN as a forum in which and an institution through which treaties are negotiated and implemented. Chapters are written by authors from different fields, including academics and practitioners, lawyers and specialists from other social sciences (international relations, history, science), professionals with an established reputation in the field and younger researchers and diplomats involved in the negotiation of multilateral treaties, as well as scholars with a broader view on the issues involved. The volume provides unique insights into UN treaty-making. Through the thematic and technical parts, it also offers a lens through which to view challenges lying ahead and the possibilities and limitations confronting this understudied aspect of international law and relations. This Introduction elaborates on some of these themes and provides a roadmap for the rest of the volume.

Keywords: law, international law, international relations, United Nations, international organizations, treaties, drafting

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