13 June 2006

UN Commission on International Trade Law to Hold 39th Session in New York, 19 June - 7 July 2006

Signature event to promote participation in new UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts

VIENNA, 13 June (UN Information Service) - The approval in principle of the key objectives and major policies underlying a draft legislative guide on secured transactions and the finalization and adoption of revised legislative provisions on interim measures and the form of the arbitration agreement will be key topics for consideration by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as it meets in New York for its 39th session from 19 June - 7 July 2006. 

A signature event to promote participation in the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts will be held in conjunction with the 39th session on Thursday, 6 July 2006 at United Nations Headquarters. The Convention was prepared by UNCITRAL, adopted by the General Assembly in 2005, and already has 3 signatories. 

Recommendations for draft legislative guide on secured transactions

The purpose of the draft legislative guide on secured transactions is to provide a legal framework that promotes access to low-cost secured credit. The draft legislative guide will address security rights in movable property, including inventory, equipment, receivables and other types of asset. The recommendations to be approved include: key objectives and scope of application, basic approaches to security, creation of the security right, effectiveness of the security right against third parties and registration, priority of the security right over the rights of competing claimants, pre-default rights and obligations of the parties, rights and obligations of third-party obligors, default and enforcement, insolvency, acquisition financing devices, conflict of laws and transitional arrangements. 

Revised legislative provisions on interim measures and the form of the arbitration agreement

The draft text for consideration and adoption by the Commission, to be included in the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration encompasses: a revision of article 17 of the Model Law on the power of the arbitral tribunal to grant interim measures; legislative provisions on the recognition and enforcement of interim measures issued by an arbitral tribunal, interim measures issued by state courts in support of arbitration and the form of the arbitration agreement; and a declaration on the interpretation of articles II(2) and VII(1) of the New York Convention.

Other topics to be discussed

The agenda for the meeting also includes progress reports from working groups, including:  revision of the 1994 Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services; and preparation of a new international transport convention with multi-modal application, encompassing innovations such as electronic transport documents. The coordination of UNCITRAL's work with that of other international organizations, in particular in fields relating to insolvency law, electronic commerce, and commercial fraud and potential future work on arbitration, electronic commerce and insolvency law are other key issues.

The status and promotion of UNCITRAL legal texts, technical assistance to law reform and possible topics and arrangements for a congress on international trade law in 2007, as well as a proposal for additional questions to be put to States to obtain further information concerning the legislative implementation of the New York Convention to enable a more comprehensive assessment to be undertaken, are also scheduled for discussion.


The Commission is composed of 60 Member States elected by the United Nations General Assembly. Membership is structured so as to be representative of the world's geographic regions and its principal economic and legal systems. Members of the Commission are elected for terms of six years, the terms of half members expiring every three years.

Current members are: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, France, Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

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The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement and infrastructure development. UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL Secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria, and maintains a website at www.uncitral.org .

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For information contact:

Jenny Clift, Senior Legal Officer
UNCITRAL Secretariat
E-mail: jenny.clift@uncitral.org