A treaty is negotiated by a group of countries, either by an organization created for that specific purpose or by an existing body such as the United Nations (UN) Disarmament Council. The negotiation process can take several years, depending on the topics covered and the number of participating countries. At the end of the negotiations, the contract will be signed by representatives of the governments concerned. The conditions may require ratification and signature of the treaty before it becomes legally binding. A government ratifies a treaty by depositing an instrument of ratification in a place defined by the Treaty; The instrument of ratification is a document containing a formal confirmation of the Government`s approval of the provisions of the Treaty. The ratification process varies according to the laws and constitutions of each country. Under U.S. law, a treaty is a legally binding agreement between countries that requires ratification and “consultation and approval” by the Senate. All other agreements (treaties at the international level) are called executive agreements, but are nevertheless legally binding under international law for the United States. The Australian Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries that, by harmonizing export controls, wants to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.
Participants in the Australian Group assist countries in meeting their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention to the full extent possible by coordinating export controls. A formal agreement between the governments of different countries on how to behave among themselves or towards the population of their country. .