International Documents

Agreement: It is the least formal type of Pact. It is often used in cases involving simplified instruments. [1]

Mutual understanding, in writing or not, between two or more parties for the purpose of giving it legal value. (OIM) [2]

Treaty: International agreement in writing between States, between these and International Organizations or between International Organizations and under International Law. Treaties are approved by the Congress of the Republic and enacted by legislation. [3]

Memorandum of Understanding: States, international organizations and their respective organisms and administrations reach political or technical cooperation agreements, which normative legal status and therefore do not produce obligations within international law. These are political agreements by which the signing parties commit to acting in a certain way or to cooperating among themselves without formally establishing a legal obligation for this purpose. This is based on the principle of good faith. Their adoption is governed by the principle of informality. [4]

Covenant: Legal act that comes from the consent of two or more States. It is often equivalent to the term treaty, although It can be more specific and less formal. Conventions between States are approved by the Congress of the Republic and enacted by legislation. [5]

Inter-Administrative Convention: It applies between state entities in order to fulfill the purposes and objectives that had previously resulted in their creation. [6]

Protocol: It is used to designate either a bilateral treaty of highly formal character or rather an additional or supplementary instrument for a previous treaty. [7] The term "protocol" is also used to designate less formal agreements than "treaties", "conventions" or "covenants." It can consist of the different types of instruments: a) A signature protocol. b) A facultative protocol for a treaty. c) A protocol based on a framework treaty. d) A protocol for amendment. e) A supplementary protocol. f) A verbal process. [8]

Ratification: International act by which a State affirms within the international stage its consent to be bound by a treaty. [9] It is the express manifestation of a State's will, through a competent authority, of giving legal certainty to a certain act. [10] Ratification has two related meanings: In a national context, it designates the process by which a State is positioned to indicate its acceptance of the obligations contained in a treaty; In an international context, it is the term used for the definitive confirmation given by the parties to an international treaties signed by their representatives, and it is commonly used to include the exchange of documents containing said confirmation. [11]

Information taken from the following sources (in Spanish):

[1] Acción Social, La Cooperación Internacionaly su Régimen Jurídico en Colombia, P. 39, June 2007.

[2] Cancillería -Glosario

[3] Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Colombia, Glosario diplomático.

[4] Pereira, Juan Carlos. Diccionario de Relaciones Internacionales y Política Exterior. Pág. 9.

[5] Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Colombia, Glosario diplomático.

[6] Acción Social, La Cooperación Internacionaly su Régimen Jurídico en Colombia, P. 79, June 2007.

[7] Definición del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores.

[8] Declaraciones y Convenciones que figuran en las Resoluciones de la Asamblea General.

[9] Convención de Viena sobre el Derecho de los Tratados entre Estados y Organizaciones Internacionales o entre Organizaciones Internacionales, artículo 1, 1986.

[10] Cancillería - Glosario

[11] UNTERM - Ratification