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A treaty comes or enter into force at a time when it becomes legally binding on the parties to the treaty. A treaty does not enter into force when it is adopted. The date of entry into force may be a date specified in the treaty or a date on which a specified number of ratifications, approvals, acceptances or accessions have been deposited with the depositary. The date of entry may often be at a specified time mentioned in the treaty following its ratification or accession by a fixed number of states. For example, the Convention on the Rights of the Child entered into force on 2 September 1990—the 30th day following the deposit of the 20th State’s instrument of ratification or accession.
Provisional entry into force of a treaty occurs when a number of parties to a treaty that has not yet entered into force decide to apply the treaty as if it had entered into force. Once a treaty has entered into force provisionally, it creates obligations for the parties that agreed to bring it into force.