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)].
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
f. Prepare certified copies of the original text.
g. Maintain and disseminate an electronic database on
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.