For information only - not an official document

15 July 2016

UNCITRAL endorses a guidance note on strengthening United Nations support to States, upon their request, to implement sound commercial law reforms

VIENNA/NEW YORK 14 July (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) endorsed a guidance note at its forty-ninth session in New York aimed at increasing awareness across the UN system about the importance of assisting States with the implementation of sound commercial law reforms.

The guidance note is relevant to all United Nations departments, offices, funds, agencies and programmes as well as other donors that deal in particular with mobilizing finance for sustainable development, facilitating international trade and economic integration, enabling entrepreneurship and private sector development, and tackling issues of good governance, rule of law and access to justice.

The guidance note explains why paying attention to the field of international commercial law in UN operations in development, conflict-prevention, post-conflict-reconstruction and other appropriate contexts is important for the implementation of the purposes of the United Nations.

Intended users of the guidance note are directed to standards, tools and expertise readily available in the United Nations system in the field of international commercial law.  Depending on the national context in which they operate, intended users are offered a menu of options that they may use to respond to requests of States to assist with the implementation of sound commercial law reforms.  Adherence to main guiding principles contained in the guidance note would help to ensure that such responses are efficient, effective and comprehensive.

With this guidance note, UNCITRAL tries to achieve more with less resources available for the implementation of its mandate by bringing its standards, tools and expertise to States and other intended users through the rich international, regional and national networks of the United Nations.

The Commission requested the Secretary-General to issue the endorsed guidance note and circulate it as broadly as possible to its intended users across the UN system.  The guidance note will soon be available on the UNCITRAL website in the six official languages of the United Nations and as an annex to the report of the Commission on the work of its forty-ninth session.


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]