For information only – not an official document
31 May 2022
VIENNA, 31 May (UN Information Service) – The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana and the European Union, has launched an initiative for UNCITRAL Days in Africa at an event in Accra.
UNCITRAL Days are a series of events co-organized with institutions of higher learning to raise awareness of the work of UNCITRAL amongst the next generations of legal thinkers and policymakers, thereby furthering the work of UNCITRAL in promoting the progressive harmonization and modernization of international trade and commercial law.
Following the success of UNCITRAL Days in Asia-Pacific and in Latin American and Caribbean region, the concept is now being expanded to Africa. The inaugural series in Africa will focus on the modernization and harmonization of international commercial law framework in the region.
The launch event was opened by Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, followed by the Minister for Education, Yaw Osei Adutwum and the Ambassador of the European Union to Ghana, Irchad Ramiandrasoa Razaaly. Testimonies from institutions that have participated in previous UNICTRAL days in other regions were also given.
The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ghana to the United Nations in Vienna, Philbert Abaka Johnson also spoke at the launch.
Representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and of the European Union presented their work supporting African countries in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Five universities and the African Academy for International Law Practice have already announced their intention to host UNCITRAL Days in Africa events between September and December 2022. The five universities are the Mandela Institute, South Africa; University Gaston Berger, Senegal; University of Ghana School of Law, Ghana; School of Social Sciences & Law, Sierra Leone and Ain Shams University, Egypt.
The hybrid launch event also reached a large online audience of professors, researchers and students from different African countries. Following the event, several additional African universities have expressed an interest in hosting an event for the first edition of UNCITRAL Days in Africa. A calendar of events will be available shortly on the UNCITRAL website.
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 uncitral.un.org.
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For information, please contact:
José Angelo Estrella Faria
Principal Legal Officer and Head, Legislative Branch