Treaties were an important part of European colonization, and in many parts of the world Europeans sought to legitimize their sovereignty by signing treaties with Indigenous peoples. In most cases, these treaties were extremely detrimental to indigenous peoples, who often did not understand the effects of what they signed. [Citation required] In other cases, such as New Zealand with the Maori and Canada with its First Nations, treaties allowed Indigenous peoples to retain a minimum of autonomy. Such treaties between colonizers and indigenous peoples are an important part of political discourse in the late 20th and early 21st century, the treaties discussed have international prestige, as stated in a United Nations treaty study. [26] [27] In international law, a treaty is any legally binding agreement between states (countries). A treaty can be called a convention, protocol, pact, agreement, etc.c is the content of the agreement, not its name, that makes it a treaty. Thus, both the Geneva Protocol and the Biological Weapons Convention are treaties, although neither has the word «treaty» in its name. Under U.S. law, a treaty is specifically a legally binding agreement between countries that requires ratification and «deliberation and approval» by the Senate. All other agreements (treaties in the international sense) are called executive agreements, but are nevertheless legally binding on the United States under international law.

In addition to treaties, there are other, less formal international agreements. These include efforts such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Mass Destruction. Although PSI has a «Declaration of Prohibition Principles» and the G7 Global Partnership includes several G7 Leaders` Statements, neither has a legally binding document that sets out specific commitments and is signed or ratified by member countries. There are three ways to modify an existing contract. First, a formal amendment requires States parties to restart the ratification process. The renegotiation of contractual terms can be long and time-consuming, and often some parties to the original contract do not become parties to the amended contract. In determining the legal obligations of States, a Party to the original Treaty and a Party to the Modified Treaty, States are bound only by the conditions on which they have both agreed […].