Friday, July 15, 2011

44th Session Of UN Commission on International Trade Law Concludes in Vienna

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has recently held its 44th Session from 27 June to 8 July 2011. Various matters of international importance were discussed by UNCITRAL in this 41st meeting.

Among important decisions taken by UNCITRAL, it also adopted texts on procurement and insolvency, considered proposal to establish pilot regional centre, and confirmed its commitment to meet in Vienna and New York

During the session, the Commission adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement, which updates the 1994 UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services.

The Commission also adopted "The UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency: the judicial perspective", a text designed to provide information and guidance for judges on cross-border related insolvency issues.

Work in the areas of transparency in treaty-based investor-State arbitration, online dispute resolution and cross-border insolvency will continue.

During this session, the Commission also decided to reconvene Working Group IV (Electronic Commerce), which has not met since 2004 and to task it with work in the field of electronic transferable records. The final product of this work is intended to complement existing UNCITRAL texts in the field of electronic commerce and will also be beneficial for the implementation of other UNCITRAL texts, such as the "Rotterdam Rules".

The Commission requested that the UNCITRAL Secretariat explore the possibility of establishing a presence in regions or specific countries by, for example, having dedicated project staff in United Nations field offices, collaborating with such existing field offices or establishing Commission country offices with a view to facilitating the provision of technical assistance with respect to the use and adoption of Commission texts.

In accordance with that request, the Secretariat invited Member States of the United Nations to express their interest in establishing UNCITRAL regional centres in different parts of the world, particularly in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Once established, UNCITRAL regional centres, envisaged as project-based offices, will enhance international trade and development by promoting certainty in international commercial transactions through the dissemination of international trade norms and standards, in particular those elaborated by UNCITRAL. Bearing in mind the limited availability of resources, the regional centres will also engage actively in fund-raising activities for their operation and activities.

As of 8 July 2011, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Kenya, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Singapore have formally expressed an interest in hosting an UNCITRAL regional centre. During this session, the Commission was informed of a specific offer from the Government of the Republic of Korea for the establishment and operation of an UNCITRAL regional centre in Incheon, Republic of Korea. After expressing its gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Korea for its generous contribution to this pilot project, the Commission approved the establishment of an "UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific" in the Republic of Korea.

India should also consider establishing a regional chapter of UNCITRAL. Further, India must also play a more pro active role in the initiatives of UNCITRAL at both national and international level.

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