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What is the significance of Travaux Préparatoires?

Travaux préparatoires are the official preparatory documents from the UNCITRAL Working Group II negotiations on the final treaty text. Article 31(1) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states that a treaty should be interpreted in good faith and according to the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in light of its object and purpose. Article 32 allows for the use of travaux préparatoires as a supplementary means of interpretation in some circumstances. These documents can help clarify the drafters’ intentions when interpreting the Convention text.