Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States
Done at: Montevideo
Date enacted: 1933-12-26
In force: 1934-12-26
The Governments represented in the Seventh International Conference of American States:
Wishing to conclude a Convention on Rights and Duties of States, have appointed the following Plenipotentiaries:
[List of plenipotentiaries omitted]
Who, after having exhibited their Full Powers, which were found to be in good and due order, have agreed upon the following:
The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:
a. a permanent population
b. a defined territory;
c. government; and
d. capacity to enter into relations with the other states.
The federal state shall constitute a sole person in the eyes of international law.
The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts. The exercise of these rights has no other limitation than the exercise of the rights of other states according to international law.
States are juridically equal, enjoy the same rights, and have equal capacity in their exercise. The rights of each one do not depend upon the power which it possesses to assure its exercise, but upon the simple fact of its existence as a person under international law.
The fundamental rights of states are not susceptible of being affected in any manner whatsoever.
The recognition of a state merely signifies that the state which recognizes it accepts the personality of the other with all the rights and duties determined by international law. Recognition is unconditional and irrevocable.
The recognition of a state may be express or tacit. The latter results from any act which implies the intention of recognizing the new state.
No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another.
The jurisdiction of states within the limits of national territory applies to all the inhabitants. Nationals and foreigners are under the same protection of the law and the national authorities and the foreigners may not claim rights other or more extensive than those of the nationals.
The primary interest of states is the conservation of peace. Differences of any nature which arise between them should be settled by recognized pacific methods.
The contracting states definitely establish as the rule of their conduct the precise obligation not to recognize territorial acquisitions or special advantages which have been obtained by force whether this consists in the employment of arms, in threatening diplomatic representations, or in any other effective coercive measure. The territory of a state is inviolable and may not be the object of military occupation nor of other measures of force imposed by another state directly or indirectly or for any motive whatever even temporarily.
The present Convention shall not affect obligations previously entered into by the High Contracting Parties by virtue of international agreements.
The present Convention shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties in conformity with their respective constitutional procedures. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uruguay shall transmit authentic certified copies to the governments for the aforementioned purpose of ratification. The instrument of ratification shall be deposited in the archives of the Pan American Union in Washington, which shall notify the signatory governments of said deposit. Such notification shall be considered as an exchange of ratifications.
The present Convention will enter into force between the High Contracting Parties in the order in which they deposit their respective ratifications.
The present Convention shall remain in force indefinitely but may be denounced by means of one year’s notice given to the Pan American Union, which shall transmit it to the other signatory governments. After the expiration of this period the Convention shall cease in its effects as regards the party which denounces but shall remain in effect for the remaining High Contracting Parties.
The present Convention shall be open for the adherence and accession of the States which are not signatories. The corresponding instruments shall be deposited in the archives of the Pan American Union which shall communicate them to the other High Contracting Parties.
In witness whereof, the following Plenipotentiaries have signed this Convention in Spanish, English, Portuguese and French and hereunto affix their respective seals in the city of Montevideo, Republic of Uruguay, this 26th day of December, 1933.
[*] Article 8 reaffirmed by Protocol, 1936-12-23.