Process to date
Since 2011, the MLA Initiative Core Group has been focused on enlisting support for the Initiative among States, both bilaterally and within the multilateral fora.
A crucial step forward was made at the First Preparatory Conference, which took place in Doorn, the Netherlands, on 16-19 October 2017. During the Conference, more than one hundred participants representing over forty supporting States and the civil society discussed the substantive elements of the planned treaty and also its procedural aspects, including the forum for negotiations. The Doorn discussions provided the basis for the Core Group's work on the MLA Preliminary Draft Convention.
The draft MLA Convention was discussed by the participants at the Second Preparatory Conference, which was held in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, on 11-14 March 2019. The comments received were incorporated into the draft MLA Convention by the Core Group.
The Diplomatic Conference planned for June 2020 to formally negotiate the text of the Convention has been postponed due to the pandemic.
During the pandemic, the initiative did not stand still, but virtual consultations were organised to prepare a comprehensive draft that will serve as a basis for negotiations at the Conference.
The Draft Convention in English, French and Spanish, which will constitute the initial draft text for the work of the Conference, is available among the documents.
The new draft text of the Convention is the result of three rounds of virtual consultations in June and November 2021 and in June 2022. The English reference version among the documents contains the changes in the form of track changes.
We expect that work on the initiative will be successfully completed with the adoption of a Convention at a Diplomatic Conference in May 2023.