So What Are Your Top 5 Worst Treaties Ever?
Benjamin Soloway at Foreign Policy magazine thrilled me last week when he called to set up an interview for this story on the worst treaties ever. Simply put, I love treaties and I love lists. After all, a few years back I started a discussion on the most important treaties ever. But, having given a lot of thought to my top 5, I was surprised to have never done a list of my bottom five. So, I spent an entire day before talking to Ben, pestering my family (who do not necessarily share my enthusiasm for all things treaty-related) with various candidates based on different ways of defining “worst” (worst treaty for humanity? the parties? one party in particular? for third parties? for the agreement’s stated goals?). In the end, I’m glad to see all the treaties that I mentioned got onto his list. Some, sadly, didn’t make the cut –I’d wanted the Universal Rubber Agreement included because it’s a rare example of a treaty that so failed to perform its intended functions (stabilizing rubber as a commodity) that the parties went through the trouble of terminating it in lieu of just letting it fall into desuetude.
Interested readers should definitely read Ben’s article. But I thought I’d open the comments section here to allow Opinio Juris readers to sound off on whether they agree with his list, or to offer their own suggestions. What treaties would you add (or delete) if we’re talking about the worst treaties of all time?