For information only - not an official document

25 June 2015

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law to Hold 48 th Session in Vienna, 29 June - 16 July 2015

VIENNA, 25 June (UN Information Service) - The ongoing drafting of a model law on secured transactions and continued revision of the Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings will be two of the key topics for consideration by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as it meets in Vienna for its 48 th session from 29 June - 16 July 2015. It will also host special panels on the rule of law and the 35 th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).

Revision of the UNCITRAL Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings

The UNCITRAL Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings are a key resource for arbitration practitioners and tribunals. They list and describe the typical matters for consideration in the organization of an arbitral proceeding. The Notes were originally finalized by UNCITRAL in 1996, and, in light of evolving practice, the Commission has determined that updating the Notes should be a priority, assigning the task to its Working Group on Arbitration and Conciliation in 2014. At its 48 th session, the Commission will consider the current draft revisions to the Notes and the work undertaken so far by the Working Group.

The Commission is also expected to consider proposals for possible future work related to enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from commercial conciliation and mediation, concurrent proceedings in investment treaty arbitrations, and the ethics of arbitrators involved in investor-State dispute settlement.

Preparation of a model law on secured transactions

A modern secured transactions law can help make credit widely available and affordable, in particular in developing economies. In light of this, UNCITRAL decided in 2013 that its Working Group on Security Interests should prepare a concise model law on secured transactions. At its 48 th session, the Commission will consider several draft chapters of the model law. The Commission is also expected to consider the possibility of the development of a guide to enactment for the model law as a subject of future work in the area of security interests.

Other topics to be discussed

On 6 July 2015, there will be two special panel discussions. In the morning, "The role of multilateral treaty processes in promoting and advancing the rule of law in the context of the work of UNCITRAL" will be discussed, while the afternoon will be dedicated to celebrating the CISG's 35 th anniversary. Over the last three decades, the CISG has become one of the most successful international trade law treaties, and its 83 States parties account for more than 75 per cent of global trade. The CISG panel will be webcast live via

During the session, the Commission is also expected to review progress made in the areas of electronic commerce; insolvency law; micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; online dispute resolution; and technical assistance to law reform.

Furthermore, the Commission will discuss priorities and the organization of its current, planned and possible future activities. In addition to items related to dispute settlement and security interests, it will consider future work in the areas of international contract law; micro, small and medium-enterprises; online dispute resolution; public procurement and infrastructure development; and insolvency law, including as related to insolvency treatment of financial contracts. In the area of electronic commerce, it will consider proposals related to identity management, mobile payments, electronic single windows, and cloud computing. It will need to consider which areas of future work will be possible, taking into account currently available resources.

The coordination of UNCITRAL's work with that of other international organizations active in the field of international trade law, its possible endorsement of the Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts, and the activities undertaken by the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific 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 the members expiring every three years.

From 29 June 2015, UNCITRAL will be composed of the following 60 member States: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Liberia, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela and Zambia.


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

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For information contact:

Timothy Lemay
Principal Legal Officer
UNCITRAL Secretariat
Email: timothy.lemay[at]