AMERICAN TREATY ON PACIFIC SETTLEMENT
April 30, 1948
In the name of their peoples, the Governments represented at the Ninth
International Conference of American States have resolved, in fulfillment of
Article XXIII of the Charter of the Organization of American States, to
conclude the following Treaty:
GENERAL OBLIGATION TO SETTLE DISPUTES BY PACIFIC MEANS
ARTICLE I. The High Contracting Parties, solemnly reaffirming their
commitments made in earlier international conventions and declarations, as
well as in the Charter of the United Nations, agree to refrain from the threat
or the use of force, or from any other means of coercion for the settlement of
their controversies, and to have recourse at all times to pacific procedures.
ARTICLE II. The High Contracting Parties recognize the obligation to settle
international controversies by regional procedures before referring them to
the Security Council of the United Nations.
Consequently, in the event that a controversy arises between two or more
signatory states which, in the opinion of the parties, cannot be settled by
direct negotiations through the usual diplomatic channels, the parties bind
themselves to use the procedures established in the present Treaty, in the
manner and under the conditions provided for in the following articles, or,
alternatively, such special procedures as, in their opinion, will permit them
to arrive at a solution.
ARTICLE III. The order of the pacific procedures established in the present
Treaty does not signify that the parties may not have recourse to the
procedure which they consider most appropriate in each case, or that they
should use all these procedures, or that any of them have preference over
others except as expressly provided.
ARTICLE IV. Once any pacific procedure has been initiated, whether by
agreement between the parties or in fulfillment of the present Treaty or a
previous pact, no other procedure may be commenced until that procedure is
ARTICLE V. The aforesaid procedures may not be applied to matters which, by
their nature, are within the domestic jurisdiction of the state. If the
parties are not in agreement as to whether the controversy concerns a matter
of domestic jurisdiction, this preliminary question shall be submitted to
decision by the International Court of Justice, at the request of any of the
ARTICLE VI. The aforesaid procedures, furthermore, may not be applied to
matters already settled by arrangement between the parties, or by arbitral
award or by decision of an international court, or which are governed by
agreements or treaties in force on the date of the conclusion of the present
ARTICLE VII. The High Contracting Parties bind themselves not to make
diplomatic representations in order to protect their nationals, or to refer a
controversy to a court of international jurisdiction for that purpose, when
the said nationals have had available the means to place their case before
competent domestic courts of the respective state.
ARTICLE VIII. Neither recourse to pacific means for the solution of
controversies, nor the recommendation of their use, shall, in the case of an
armed attack, be ground for delaying the exercise of the right of individual
or collective self-defense, as provided for in the Charter of the United
PROCEDURES OF GOOD OFFICES AND MEDIATION
ARTICLE IX. The procedure of good offices consists in the attempt by
one or more American Governments not parties to the controversy, or by one or
more eminent citizens of any American State which is not a party to the
controversy, to bring the parties together, so as to make it possible for them
to reach an adequate solution between themselves.
ARTICLE X. Once the parties have been brought together and have resumed direct
negotiations, no further action is to be taken by the states or citizens that
have offered their good offices or have accepted an invitation to offer them;
they may, however, by agreement between the parties, be present at the
ARTICLE XI. The procedure of mediation consists in the submission of the
controversy to one or more American Governments not parties to the
controversy, or to one or more eminent citizens of any American State not a
party to the controversy. In either case the mediator or mediators shall be
chosen by mutual agreement between the parties.
ARTICLE XII. The functions of the mediator or mediators shall be to assist the
parties in the settlement of controversies in the simplest and most direct
manner, avoiding formalities and seeking an acceptable solution. No report
shall be made by the mediator and, so far as he is concerned, the proceedings
shall be wholly confidential.
ARTICLE XIII. In the event that the High Contracting Parties have agreed to
the procedure of mediation but are unable to reach an agreement within two
months on the selection of, the mediator or mediators, or no solution to the
controversy has been reached within five months after mediation has begun, the
parties shall have recourse without delay to any one of the other procedures
of peaceful settlement established in the present Treaty.
ARTICLE XIV. The High Contracting Parties may offer their mediation, either
individually or jointly, but they agree not to do so while the controversy is
in process of settlement by any of the other procedures established in the
PROCEDURE OF INVESTIGATION AND CONCILIATION
ARTICLE XV. The procedure of investigation and conciliation consists in the
submission of the controversy to a Commission of Investigation and
Conciliation, which shall be established in accordance with the provisions
established in subsequent articles of the present Treaty, and which shall
function within the limitations prescribed therein.
ARTICLE XVI. The party initiating the procedure of investigation and
conciliation shall request the Council of the Organization of American States
to convoke the Commission of Investigation and Conciliation. The Council for
its part shall take immediate steps to convoke it.
Once the request to convoke the Commission has been received, the controversy
between the parties shall immediately be suspended, and the parties shall
refrain from any act that might make conciliation more difficult. To that end,
at the request of one of the parties, the Council of the Organization of
American States may, pending the convocation of the Commission, make
appropriate recommendations to the parties.
ARTICLE XVII. Each of the High Contracting Parties may appoint, by means of a
bilateral agreement consisting of a simple exchange of notes with each of the
other signatories, two members of the Commission of Investigation and
Conciliation, only one of whom may be of its own nationality. The fifth
member, who shall perform the functions of chairman, shall be selected
immediately by common agreement of the members thus appointed.
Any one of the contracting parties may remove members whom it has appointed,
whether nationals or aliens; at the same time it shall appoint the successor.
If this is not done, the removal shall be considered as not having been made.
The appointments and substitutions shall be registered with the Pan American
Union, which shall endeavor to ensure that the commissions maintain their full
complement of five members.
ARTICLE XVIII. Without prejudice to the provisions of the foregoing article,
the Pan American Union shall draw up a permanent panel of American
conciliators, to be made up as follows:
a) Each of the High Contracting Parties shall appoint, for three year periods,
two of their nationals who enjoy the highest reputation for fairness,
competence and integrity;
b) The Pan American Union shall request of the candidates notice of their
formal acceptance, and it shall place on the panel of conciliators the names
of the persons who so notify it;
c) The governments may, at any time, fill vacancies occurring among their
appointees; and they may reappoint their members.
ARTICLE XIX. In the event that a controversy should arise between two or more
American States that have not appointed the Commission referred to in Article
XVII, the following procedure shall be observed:
a) Each party shall designate two members from the permanent panel of American
conciliators, who are not of the same nationality as the appointing party.
b) These four members shall in turn choose a fifth member, from the permanent
panel, not of the nationality of either party.
c) If, within a period of thirty days following the notification of their
selection, the four members are unable to agree upon a fifth member, they
shall each separately list the conciliators composing the permanent panel, in
order of their preference, and upon comparison of the lists so prepared, the
one who first receives a majority of votes shall be declared elected. The
person so elected shall perform the duties of chairman of the Commission.
ARTICLE XX. In convening the Commission of Investigation and Conciliation, the
Council of the Organization of American States shall determine the place where
the Commission shall meet. Thereafter, the Commission may determine the place
or places in which it is to function, taking into account the best facilities
for the performance of its work.
ARTICLE XXI. When more than two states are involved in the same controversy,
the states that hold similar points of view shall be considered as a single
party. If they have different interests they shall be entitled to increase the
number of conciliators in order that all parties may have equal
representation. The chairman shall be elected in the manner set forth in
ARTICLE XXII. It shall be the duty of the Commission of Investigation and
Conciliation to clarify the points in dispute between the parties and to
endeavor to bring about an agreement between them upon mutually acceptable
terms. The Commission shall institute such investigations of the facts
involved in the controversy as it may deem necessary for the purpose of
proposing acceptable bases of settlement.
ARTICLE XXII. It shall be the duty of the parties to facilitate the work of
the Commission and to supply it, to the fullest extent possible, with all
useful documents and information, and also to use the means at their disposal
to enable the Commission to summon and hear witnesses or experts and perform
other tasks in the territories of the parties, in conformity with their laws.
ARTICLE XXIV. During the proceedings before the Commission, the parties shall
be represented by plenipotentiary delegates or by agents, who shall serve as
intermediaries between them and the Commission. The parties and the Commission
may use the services of technical advisers and experts.
ARTICLE XXV. The Commission shall conclude its work within a period of six
months from the date of its installation; but the parties may, by mutual
agreement, extend the period.
ARTICLE XXVI. If, in the opinion of the parties, the controversy relates
exclusively to questions of fact, the Commission shall limit itself to
investigating such questions, and shall conclude its activities with an
ARTICLE XXVII. If an agreement is reached by conciliation, the final report of
the Commission shall be limited to the text of the agreement and shall be
published after its transmittal to the parties, unless the parties decide
otherwise. If no agreement is reached, the final report shall contain a
summary of the work of the Commission; it shall be delivered to the parties,
and shall be published after the expiration of six months unless the parties
decide otherwise. In both cases, the final report shall be adopted by a
ARTICLE XXVIII. The reports and conclusions of the Commission of Investigation
and Conciliation shall not be binding upon the parties, either with respect to
the statement of facts or in regard to questions of law, and they shall have
no other character than that of recommendations submitted for the
consideration of the parties in order to facilitate a friendly settlement of
ARTICLE XXIX. The Commission of Investigation and Conciliation shall transmit
to each of the parties, as well as to the Pan American Union, certified copies
of the minutes of its proceedings. These minutes shall not be published unless
the parties so decide.
ARTICLE XXX. Each member of the Commission shall receive financial
remuneration, the amount of which shall be fixed by agreement between the
parties. If the parties do not agree thereon,. the Council of the Organization
shall determine the remuneration. Each government shall pay its own expenses
and an equal share of the common expenses of the Commission, including the
ARTICLE XXXI. In conformity with Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute of
the International Court of Justice, the High Contracting Parties declare that
they recognize, in relation to any other American State, the jurisdiction of
the Court as compulsory ipso facto, without the necessity of any
special agreement so long as the present Treaty is in force, in all disputes
of a juridical nature that arise among them concerning:
a) The interpretation of a treaty;
b) Any question of international law;
c) The existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute the
breach of an international obligation;
d) The nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an
ARTICLE XXXII. When the conciliation procedure previously established in the
present Treaty or by agreement of the parties does not lead to a solution, and
the said parties have not agreed upon an arbitral procedure, either of them
shall be entitled to have recourse to the International Court of Justice in
the manner prescribed in Article 40 of the Statute thereof. The Court shall
have compulsory jurisdiction in accordance with Article 36, paragraph 1, of
the said Statute.
ARTICLE XXXIII. If the parties fail to agree as to whether the Court has
jurisdiction over the controversy, the Court itself shall first decide that
ARTICLE XXXIV. If the Court, for the reasons set forth in Articles V, VI and
VII of this Treaty, declares itself to be without jurisdiction to hear the
controversy, such controversy shall be declared ended.
ARTICLE XXXV. If the Court for any other reason declares itself to be without
jurisdiction to hear and adjudge the controversy, the High Contracting Parties
obligate themselves to submit it to arbitration, in accordance with the
provisions of Chapter Five of this Treaty.
ARTICLE XXXVI. In the case of controversies submitted to the judicial
procedure to which this Treaty refers, the decision shall devolve upon the
full Court, or, if the parties so request, upon a special chamber in
conformity with Article 26 of the Statute of the Court. The parties may agree,
moreover, to have the controversy decided ex aequo et bono.
ARTICLE XXXVII. The procedure to be followed by the Court shall be that
established in the Statute thereof.
PROCEDURE OF ARBITRATION
ARTICLE XXXVIII. Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter Four of this
Treaty, the High Contracting Parties may, if they so agree, submit to
arbitration differences of any kind, whether juridical or not, that have
arisen or may arise in the future between them.
ARTICLE XXXIX. The Arbitral Tribunal to which a controversy is to be submitted
shall, in the cases contemplated in Articles XXXV and XXXVIII of the present
Treaty, be constituted in the following manner, unless there exists an
agreement to the contrary.
ARTICLE XL. (1) Within a period of two months after notification of the
decision of the Court in the case provided for in Article XXXV, each party
shall name one arbiters of recognized competence in questions of international
law and of the highest integrity, and shall transmit the designation to the
Council of the Organization. At the same time, each party shall present to the
Council a list of ten jurists chosen from among those on the general panel of
members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration of The Hague who do not belong
to its national group and who are willing to be members of the Arbitral
(2) The Council of the Organization shall, within the month following the
presentation of the lists, proceed to establish the Arbitral Tribunal in the
a) If the lists presented by the parties contain three names in common, such
persons, together with the two directly named by the parties, shall constitute
the Arbitral Tribunal;
b) In case these lists contain more than three names in common, the three
arbiters needed to complete the Tribunal shall be selected by lot;
c) In the circumstances envisaged in the two preceding clauses, the five
arbiters designated shall choose one of their number as presiding officer;
d) If the lists contain only two names in common, such candidates and the two
arbiters directly selected by the parties shall by common agreement choose the
fifth arbiter, who shall preside over the Tribunal. The choice shall devolve
upon a jurist on the aforesaid general panel of the Permanent Court of
Arbitration of The Hague who has not been included in the lists drawn up by
e) If the lists contain only one name in common, that person shall be a member
of the Tribunal, and another name shall be chosen by lot from among the
eighteen jurists remaining on the above-mentioned lists. The presiding officer
shall be elected in accordance with the procedure established in the preceding
f) If the lists contain no names in common, one arbiter shall be chosen by lot
from each of the lists; and the fifth arbiter, who shall act as presiding
officer, shall be chosen in the manner previously indicated;
g) If the four arbiters cannot agree upon a fifth arbiter within one month
after the Council of the Organization has notified them of their appointment,
each of them shall separately arrange the list of jurists in the order of
their preference and, after comparison of the lists so formed, the person who
first obtains a majority vote shall be declared elected.
ARTICLE XLI. The parties may by mutual agreement establish the Tribunal in the
manner they deem most appropriate; they may even select a single arbiter,
designating in such case a chief of state, an eminent jurist, or any court of
justice in which the parties have mutual confidence.
ARTICLE XLII. When more than two states are involved in the same controversy,
the states defending the same interests shall be considered as a single party.
If they have opposing interests they shall have the right to increase the
number of arbiters so that all parties may have equal representation. The
presiding officer shall be selected by the method established in Article XL.
ARTICLE XLIII. The parties shall in. each case draw up a special agreement
clearly defining the specific matter that is the subject of the controversy,
the seat of the Tribunal, the rules of procedure to be observed, the period
within which the award is to be handed down, and such other conditions as they
may agree upon among themselves.
If the special agreement cannot be drawn up within three months after the date
of the installation of the Tribunal, it shall be drawn up by the International
Court of Justice through summary procedure, and shall be binding upon the
ARTICLE XLIV. The parties may be represented before the Arbitral Tribunal by
such persons as they may designate.
ARTICLE XLV. If one of the parties fails to designate its arbiter and present
its list of candidates within the period provided for in Article XL, the other
party shall have the right to request the Council of the Organization to
establish the Arbitral Tribunal. The Council shall immediately urge the
deliě~'quent party to fulfill its obligations within an additional period of
fifteen days, after which time the Council itself shall establish the Tribunal
in the following manner
a) It shall select a name by lot from the list presented by the petitioning
b) It shall choose, by absolute majority vote, two jurists from the general
panel of the Permanent Court of Arbitration of The Hague who do not belong to
the national group of any of the parties.
c) The three persons so designated, together with the one directly chosen by
the petitioning party, shall select the fifth arbiter, who shall act as
presiding officer, in the manner provided for in Article XL.
d) Once the Tribunal is installed, the procedure established in article XLIII
shall be followed.
ARTICLE XLVI. The award shall be accompanied by a supporting opinion, shall be
adopted by a majority vote, and shall be published. after notification thereof
has been given to the parties. The dissenting arbiter or arbiters shall have
the right to state the grounds for their dissent.
The award, once it is duly handed down and made known to the parties, shall
settle the controversy definitively,
shall not be subject to appeal, and shall be carried out immediately.
ARTICLE XLVII. Any differences that arise in regard to the interpretation or
execution of the award shall be submitted to the decision of the Arbitral
Tribunal that rendered the award.
ARTICLE XLVIII. Within a year after notification thereof, the award shall be
subject to review by the same Tribunal at the request of one of the parties,
provided a previously existing fact is discovered unknown to the Tribunal and
to the party requesting the review, and provided the Tribunal is of the
opinion that such fact might have a decisive influence on the award.
ARTICLE XLIX. Every member of the Tribunal shall receive financial
remuneration, the amount of which shall be fixed by agreement between the
parties. If the parties do not agree on the amount, the Council of the
Organization shall determine the remuneration. Each Government shall pay its
own expenses and an equal share of the common expenses of the Tribunal,
including the aforementioned remunerations.
FULFILLMENT OF DECISIONS
ARTICLE L. If one of the High Contracting Parties should fail to carry out the
obligations imposed upon it by a decision of the International Court. of
Justice or by an arbitral award, the other party or parties concerned shall,
before resorting to the Security Council of the United Nations, propose a
Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs to agree upon
appropriate measures to ensure the fulfillment of the judicial decision or
ARTICLE LI. The parties concerned in the solution of a controversy may, by
agreement, petition the General Assembly or the Security Council of the United
Nations to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice
on any juridical question.
The petition shall be made through the Council of the Organization of American
ARTICLE LII. The present Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting
Parties in accordance with their constitutional procedures. The original
instrument shall be deposited in the Pan American Union, which shall transmit
an authentic certified copy to each Government for the purpose of
ratification. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited in the
archives of the Pan American Union, which shall notify the signatory
governments of the deposit. Such notification shall be considered as an
exchange of ratifications.
ARTICLE LIII. This Treaty shall come into effect between the High Contracting
Parties in the order in which they deposit their respective ratifications.
ARTICLE LIV. Any American State which is not a signatory to the present
Treaty, or which has made reservations thereto, may adhere to it, or may
withdraw its reservations in whole or in part, by transmitting an official
instrument to the Pan American Union, which shall notify the other High
Contracting Parties in the manner herein established.
ARTICLE LV. Should any of the High Contracting Parties make reservations
concerning the present Treaty, such reservations shall, with respect to the
state that makes them, apply to all signatory states on the basis of
ARTICLE LVI. The present Treaty shall remain in force indefinitely, but may be
denounced upon one year's notice, at the end of which period it shall cease to
be in force with respect to the state denouncing it, but shall continue in
force for the remaining signatories. The denunciation shall be addressed to
the Pan American Union, which shall transmit it to the other Contracting
The denunciation shall have no effect with respect to pending procedures
initiated prior to the transmission of the particular notification.
ARTICLE LVII. The present Treaty shall be registered with the Secretariat of
the United Nations through the Pan American Union.
ARTICLE VLIII. As this Treaty comes into effect through the successive
ratifications of the High Contracting Parties, the following treaties,
conventions and protocols shall cease to be in force with respect to such
Treaty to Avoid or Prevent Conflicts between the American States, of May 3,
General Convention of Inter-American Conciliation, of January 5, 1929;
General Treaty of Inter-American Arbitration and Additional Protocol of
Progressive Arbitration, of January 5, 1929;
Additional Protocol to the General Convention of Inter-American Conciliation,
of December 26, 1933;
Anti-War Treaty of Non-Aggression and Conciliation, of October 10, 1933;
Convention to Coordinate, Extend and Assure the Fulfillment of the Existing
Treaties between the American States, of December 23, 1936;
Inter-American Treaty on Good Offices and Mediation, of December 23, 1936;
Treaty on the Prevention of Controversies, of December 23, 1936.
ARTICLE LIX. The provisions of the foregoing Article shall not apply to
procedures already initiated or agreed
upon in accordance with any of the above-mentioned international instruments.
ARTICLE LX. The present Treaty shall be called the "PACT OF BOGOTÁ."
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, having deposited their
full powers, found to be in good and due form, sign the present Treaty, in the
name of their respective Governments, on the dates appearing below their
Done at the City of Bogotá, in four texts, in the English, French, Portuguese
and Spanish languages respectively, on the thirtieth day of April, nineteen