For information only - not an official document

21 June 2016

UN Commission on International Trade Law to Hold
49 th Session in New York, 27 June - 15 July 2016

VIENNA, 21 June (UN Information Service) - The finalization and adoption of draft texts on security interests, arbitration and online dispute resolution will be key topics for consideration by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as it meets in New York for its 49 th session from 27 June to 15 July 2016.

Finalization and adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions

The Commission is expected to finalize and adopt the UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions (the "Model Law"). The Model Law deals with security interests in all types of movable property with few exceptions (e.g. intermediated securities). The Model Law follows a unitary, functional and comprehensive approach to address the main problem of secured transactions laws around the world, that is, the multiplicity of regimes that creates gaps and inconsistencies. The Model Law has the advantage that it addresses issues relating to the infrastructure for a modern secured transactions law to apply (i.e. an electronic registry) and is supplemented by recommendations as to the treatment of security interests in insolvency.

By providing a transparent, comprehensive and rational legislative framework of secured financing, the Model Law will have a beneficial impact on the availability and the cost of credit, in particular to small and medium-size enterprises in developing countries, thus assisting in their market inclusion and the alleviation of poverty. The Commission will also consider a recommendation of the Working Group for the preparation of a guide to enactment of the Model Law (i.e. a commentary), as well as future work and coordination and cooperation with other organizations in the area of security interests.

Finalization and adoption of the revised UNCITRAL Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings

The UNCITRAL Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings (the "Notes") are a key resource for parties to arbitration and arbitration practitioners. 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, in 2014 the Commission started working on updating the Notes. At this session, the Commission will consider adoption of the new edition of the Notes.

Further, the Commission will examine the preparatory work for an instrument on the enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from mediation. It will also consider proposals for future work on concurrent proceedings and the ethics of arbitrators. A report on whether the Mauritius Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration could be used as a model for further reforms of investor-State dispute settlement will also be presented to the Commission.

Finalization and adoption of Technical Notes on Online Dispute Resolution

In addition, the Commission is expected to finalize the UNCITRAL Technical Notes on Online Dispute Resolution (the "Technical Notes"). The Technical Notes are designed to facilitate the settlement of disputes arising from low-value cross-border sales or service contracts concluded using electronic communications. The procedure is conducted online, without the need for physical presence at a meeting or hearing, and so is known as Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). The purpose of the Technical Notes is to describe options for a system to enable a simple, fast, flexible and secure process for the resolution of such disputes. The Technical Notes embody principles of impartiality, independence, efficiency, effectiveness, due process, fairness, accountability and transparency.

Other topics to be discussed

The Commission will also review progress made in the areas of electronic commerce; insolvency law; micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; and technical assistance to law reform.

In addition, the Commission will discuss priorities and the organization of its future work. It will evaluate planned and possible future work in the areas of arbitration and conciliation; electronic commerce; insolvency law; micro, small and medium-enterprises; procurement and infrastructure development, including public-private partnerships; and security interests. It will need to consider which of these areas of work will be possible, taking into account currently available resources.

The Commission will also consider preparations for commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of UNCITRAL. UNCITRAL was established by the General Assembly on 17 December 1966, and the anniversary will be celebrated at a Congress to be held during the Commission's 50 th session in 2017.

The coordination of UNCITRAL's work with that of other international organizations active in the field of international trade law, its role in promoting the rule of law and the activities undertaken by the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific will also be discussed.


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]