How many UN international conventions have EU nations ratified?
Posted on January 21st, 2017

Shenali D Waduge

On the backdrop of the demands being made to re-award GSP plus by EU to Sri Lanka, the EU has through a press release claimed that Sri Lanka needs to ratify 27 international conventions to be awarded GSP plus. It is interesting to see how many international conventions/statutes and protocols these preaching EU member states have themselves ratified. Let us not forget that it was to wrest power in their control that these international conventions have been set up as it is the Western bloc of nations that dictates and determines who should comply and who should be punished with terms and conditions set up by them as they see fit. These bullying tactics need to now stop and nations that are supposed to be sovereign must act with a spine instead of bending down to the whims of a handful of nations who must be statistically reminded that they are the minority in a world where the periphery of power is now changing. The West is no longer the king maker. Therefore Asian and African nations including South American nations must refuse to be bullied by 28 en bloc nations whose future is also now questionable together with a crumbling America.

Lets all remember that the EU is not a country, it is a bloc of European countries coming together following the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. There are so many international treaties, protocols and statutes possibly no nation knows what they have signed, what their contents are or whether they are overlapping and contradicting each other. Even within the UN system it is extremely difficult to get a clear picture of what countries have signed, ratfied or left. However, what is clear is that these ‘agreements’ are all drafted with advantage titled towards the Western nations with a sellable insignificant short term advantage to the developing nations that these Western nations deal with. Is this not why there is no equilibrium in the world and the gaps between the rich/poor nations and rich and poor are widening by the day? Shocking too is that 8 men own the combined wealth of half the world! In other words the wealth owned by 3.6billion people is 462.2billion which 8men own!

A brief look at some of the ratifications by these EU members reveal that each nation are selective about what they ratify, so why demand Sri Lanka agree to sign every treaty that EU deems fit and hold that as a carrot to give trade concessions? There is no uniformity as nations of the EU ratify only what they like but insist other countries to ratify what they demand. What nations need to also realize is that the demands being made by the EU nations simply to award GSP plus are demands that are irreversible while the GSP plus can be reversed at any time as EU has done.

EU country ILO ratification Intl Human Rights Treaties
Austria 54 49
Belgium 109 50
Bulgaria 101 48
Croatia 61 40
Cyprus 60 49
Czech Republic 73 41
Denmark 73 58
Estonia 41 32
Finland 105 55
France 129 49
Germany 86 52
Greece 72 48
Hungary 74 48
Ireland 75 43
Italy 113 55
Latvia 53 33
Lithuania 46 36
Luxembourg 103 53
Malta 63 37
Netherlands 107 55
Poland 91 49
Portugal 84 51
Romania 57 53
Slovakia 75 42
Slovenia 85 43
Spain 133 47
Sweden 96 59
UK 89 53

Non-EU European countries and the ILO international conventions/statutes and protocols ratified

1.          Albania – 56

2.          Belarus – 49

3.          Bosnia-Herzegovina – 83

4.          Iceland – 24

5.          Moldova – 43

6.          Norway – 113

7.          Serbia – 76

8.          Switzerland – 60

9.          Ukraine – 71

USA has only ratified 14 ILO International conventions/protocols/statutes. The last date of ratification by US was in 2001 – C176 Safety and Health in Mines Convention 1995 (No.176) Thereafter since 2001 US has not ratified any international convention/protocol or statutes. There are over 35 international treaties that US has not ratified with no intent to ratify some of which include the Kyoto Protocol, Convention on Rights of the Child, Geneva Convention Protocols 1 & 2, Employment Policy Convention, Forced Labor Convention.

GSP plus has been offered to the following countries. Many are of these are little known nations though surprisingly the GDP of some countries are even better than Sri Lanka as shown below.

Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Paraguay and Peru.

Of these countries Cape Verde enjoys GSP plus even though it has only ratified 14 ILO international conventions/protocols and statutes while Mongolia has ratified only 20. So why the insistence on Sri Lanka ratifying 27 international conventions plus the 58 conditions that the GOSL and media have admitted.

In terms of the IMF per capita GDP for countries (Peru, Paraguay and even Mongolia is doing better than Sri Lanka!)

§  Armenia – $3,521

§  Bolivia – $3,099

§  Cape Verde – $3,056

§  Kyrgystan – $1,113

§  Mongolia – $3,946

§  Pakistan – $1,428

§  Paraguay – $4,102

§  Peru – $6,167

§  Sri Lanka – $3,849

Sri Lanka no doubt is cash-strapped but does it need to get further trapped by nations who have never sought to do us any good? Must politicians and officials always look at the easy way out by agreeing to every carrot offered without weighing the consequences and repercussions? Is it not as a result of these short-sighted decision-making that we have landed troubled waters contrary to the projected notion that the West is now gaga-over us. What has the West given free and without tags?

Shenali D Waduge



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