Leon Trotsky and the Prohibition Against Secret Treaties
22 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 11, 2016
A key aspect of contemporary international treaty practice is a requirement that treaties be registered with the United Nations. All states that are UN members are required to register any treaty into which they enter. While the requirement may seem a minor matter of bureaucratic detail, its origins are connected with events that shattered the world order in the early years of the twentieth century. Woodrow Wilson included as the first of his famous "fourteen points" for a post-World War I disposition the precept that treaties should be "openly arrived at" and that secret diplomacy should be outlawed. Wilson's advocacy of this precept was prompted by the revelation by Leon Trotsky, as a commissar of the new Soviet government in Russia, of secret treaties concluded among the World War I allies for the disposition of various pieces of territory. this article analyzes the requirement of treaty registration in light of this history.
Keywords: treaties registration, United Nations, League of Nations
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation