Authentic text

The final and definitive text of a Convention or Recommendation as voted upon and adopted by the Conference. According to article 42 of the Standing Orders of the Conference, the English and French texts are the ‘authentic texts’ of Conventions and Recommendations. This is also reflected in a final provision which has remained practically unchanged since its inclusion in the first Convention in 1919, and which provides that the English and French language versions are both ‘equally authoritative’. Pursuant to article 19(4) of the Constitution, two copies of the authentic texts of a new Convention or Recommendation must be authenticated by the signatures of the President of the Conference and of the Director-General, one copy to be deposited in the archives of the Office and the other with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. 

In case of errors (typing, spelling, punctuation, numbering), a lack of conformity of the original of the instrument with the official records of the Conference which adopted the instrument, or a lack of concordance between the two authentic texts, the Office, in its depositary capacity, may initiate a correction procedure, proprio motu or at the request of a member State. Following UN practice, the Office has established a formal correction procedure where a procès-verbal of rectification is circulated to all member States which may raise objections to the correction proposed. This procedure was last followed in 2007 to correct two printing errors in the MLC, 2006.