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The Secretariat for Legal Affairs (SLA) serves as depository for all [Inter-American treaties] and their instruments of ratification, which the Charter of the Organization of American States assigns to the General Secretariat [(art. 112, f)]. The Department also serves as depository for all [bilateral agreements] between the Organs of the OAS and Member States, Observer States, agencies and other entities of these states, or other Inter-American agencies.

As depository, the Secretariat for Legal Affairs (SLA)  performs, in general, the following functions:

a. Maintain custody of the original text of the treaty and any full powers delivered to the depositary.

b. Receive any signatures to the treaty and receives and maintain custody of any instruments, notifications and communications relating thereto.

c. Inform the parties to a treaty, as well as the States entitled to become a party thereto, of acts, notifications and communications relating to such document.

d. Inform the States entitled to become parties to the treaty when the number of signatures or instruments of ratification or accession required for the entry into force of the treaty have been received or deposited.

e. Register the treaty with the Secretariat of the United Nations.

f. Prepare certified copies of the original text.

g. Maintain and disseminate an electronic database on Inter-American treaties.

The Secretariat for Legal Affairs (SLA)  also follows specific norms adopted by the [OAS General Assembly’s resolution] concerning reservations, procedures for preparing and adopting Inter-American legal instruments, and procedures for correcting errors.

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