A secret treaty is an international treaty by which States parties have agreed to conceal the existence or substance of the Treaty from other states and the public.  Such an obligation to secrecy of the agreement may be included in the legal act itself or in a separate agreement.  The occasion formally when a country formally joins a group of countries or accepts an agreement With international private agreements that are « virtually eliminated » between democratic states, informal agreements « continue as their closest modern substitutes ».  The tripartite alliance, a secret agreement between Germany, Austria and Italy, was founded in May 1882 and renewed regularly until the First World War. Germany and Austria Hungary were closely linked since 1879. Italy sought its support against France, shortly after losing north African ambitions to the French. The treaty provided that Germany and Austria-Hungary would help Italy if it were attacked by France without Italian provocation; Italy would help Germany if Germany were attacked by France. In the event of a war between Austria-Hungary and Russia, Italy has promised to remain neutral. This abstention could have led to the release of the Austrian troops, who would otherwise have been necessary to monitor the Austro-Italian border. There are powerful reasons why secret contracts are rare today. The first and most fundamental is the rise of democratic states, with principles of public responsibility and certain powers of legislative control. Secret treaties are difficult to reconcile with these democratic procedures.
The second reason is that, since the entry of the United States into World War I, the United States has rejected the principle of secret agreements and has anchored its position in the peace colonies of the two world wars. The decline of centralized foreign policy institutions, which have worked closely with a handful of political leaders, severely limits the use of secret treaties. Foreign ministries no longer have the same powers to force states to form alliances, to move that alliance, to divide the conquered territory and to conceal such critical obligations from public opinion. The discretionary powers of a Bismark or a Metternich have no equivalent in modern Western countries.  International agreements are formal agreements or commitments between two or more countries.