Secret international agreements

Other Names:
Covert arrangements among governments
Secret intergovernmental pacts
Conspiracy between governments

When international agreements are made in secret, negotiators may be inclined to reach an accord with one another at the expense of persons or groups absent.


The Congress of Vienna in 1814-1815 redrew boundaries of states without the the knowledge of the European populations affected by such decisions; the Constitutional Convention (1787) was drafted in secret; Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union signed secretly a nonaggression pact in 1939 dividing Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence; Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger conducted secret negotiations with China; and the Nixon administration conducted secret negotiations with the North Vietnamese on the ending of the Viet Nam War. In 1994 evidence emerged that the UK had made a secret agreement with China in the 1980s to limit the development of democratic institutions in Hong Kong, despite the much publicized debates on the matter thereafter in Hong Kong.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
15.10.2020 – 18:25 CEST