Thank you for a very thorough analysis, in particular for explaining the difficulties inherent in commenting on the draft closure 2, particularly with respect to paragraph 6 of the comment. I agree with your conclusion that Article 31, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention on Treaty Law assumes a chronological order within the framework of Article 31 as a whole and should, as a first step, be a priority in interpreting the treaty. It certainly must be applied before considering the subsequent practice in practice codified in Article 31, paragraph 3, sub b), of the Vienna Convention on Treaty Law. It should be noted, however, that the “holistic” interpretive approach proposed by the ILC in paragraph 6 does not apply only to the ILC. In support, Professor Regan follows this approach (Donald H Regan`s Sources of International Trade Law: Understanding what the Vienna Convention says about identifying and using “sources of treaty interpretation” in Samantha Besson and Jean D`Aspremont (eds) The Oxford Handbook of The Sources of International Law (2017) Oxford University Press 1052-1053), if my understanding is correcting, in the analysis in terms of the `unity of Article 31 of the Vienna Convention` “We are now broadening our view to include section 31 as a whole. A crucial point of Article 31 is this: Article 31 grants exactly the same status and authority to all the materials it mentions. To do so, it is only necessary to pay attention to what Article 31 explicitly says. First, paragraph 31, paragraph 1, explicitly states that the interpreter cannot give importance to the terms of the treaty until they are considered in context. Words or phrases cannot therefore be an interpretive priority in relation to context, as they do not have an independent meaning. Second, paragraph 31, paragraph 2, explicitly states that the “context” without which the words are not significant includes not only the text of the treaty (including preambles and annexes), but also certain other agreements or instruments accepted by all parties. Therefore, if we are not allowed to make sense of words without taking into account the context (as 31 (1) tells us, we cannot pass the limited “context” provided for by the text of the Treaty itself. The materials covered in paragraph 31, paragraph 2, are part of the context covered in paragraph 31 (1) and all reports must be considered together.
Unlike paragraph 31, paragraph 2, paragraph 31 does not fail to complete the “context” itself. However, it states that certain other agreements, customs and rules of international law “must be taken into account at the same time as the context”. If context must be taken into account before we can make sense of words, then everything else must be taken into account “at the same time as the context” – that is, the materials of 31 (3) – before we can make sense of the words.