Final provisions

The final provisions, or final clauses, are an integral part of the operative provisions of a Convention and have binding force. They are technical in nature and relate specifically to its entry into force, ratification formalities, denunciation and revision. In order to ensure that Conventions are subject to a system that is as uniform as possible, the ILO has generally used a set of standard provisions reproduced without any major modifications in the final articles of each new Convention.

The standard final provisions in their present form comprise normally eight articles on entry into force of the Convention, denunciation, revision, depositary functions of the Director-General and UN Secretary-General, and authoritative language versions. These standard provisions date from 1928 with further adjustments introduced in 1933 and 1946.

According to established practice, articles containing the final provisions are added by the Conference Drafting Committee to the text of the proposed Convention drawn by the technical committee before it is submitted to a final vote in the plenary session of the Conference. Once included in a Convention, the final provisions cannot be amended except by revision of that Convention.

The need to review the content of certain final provisions, especially the ‘default’ values regarding the number of ratifications required for the initial entry into force of a Convention or the calculation of denunciation periods of Conventions, has been discussed on a number of occasions in the Conference and in the Governing Body, last in March 2003 (GB.286/LILS/1/2) and in March 2012 (GB.313/LILS/2). There seems to be general agreement that this matter should be properly examined by the Standards Review Mechanism Tripartite Working Group set up in October 2015.