For information only – not an official document

20 December 2022

UNCITRAL holds conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency

VIENNA, 20 December (UN Information Service) – The UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The Model Law has become a ground-breaking text in an area of law that has traditionally been considered very difficult to harmonize at a global level because of the many policy issues involved. In adopting the text in 1997, UNCITRAL united the international community behind the recognition that national insolvency laws, ill-equipped to keep pace with cross-border insolvencies, elevate risks of concealment or dissipation of assets and reduce chances of rescuing viable business or efficiently liquidating non-viable businesses. The Model Law provides a template for States to address those issues. As of today, it has been enacted in 53 States in a total of 56 jurisdictions and interest of other States in enacting the Model Law continues to grow.

In conjunction with the 61st session of UNCITRAL Working Group V (insolvency Law) (Vienna, 12-16 December 2022), a conference was held to celebrate this anniversary by taking stock of experiences with the enactment, application, interpretation and use of the text.   Organized by the UNCITRAL secretariat, in cooperation with the World Bank Group, the International Insolvency Institute, Insol International and the International Bar Association, the conference featured discussions by professors, judges and practitioners about the impact of the text on cross-border insolvency legislation, case law and practices across the globe and their views on how the text was expected to contribute further to harmonization of cross-border and domestic insolvency legislation, alone or together with other UNCITRAL insolvency model laws, the UNCITRAL Model Law on Recognition and Enforcement of Insolvency-related Judgments (2018) and the Model Law on Enterprise Group Insolvency (2019).  

The conference was attended by more than 100 in-person participants and was broadcast in the six official languages of the United Nations. The recordings in the six official languages of the United Nations are available at A summary of the event in the six official languages of the United Nation will be made available on the same webpage early in 2023.


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. In the field of insolvency law, UNCITRAL adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on Enterprise Group Insolvency with Guide to Enactment (2019), the UNCITRAL Model Law on Recognition and Enforcement of Insolvency-Related Judgments with Guide to Enactment (2018), the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (1997) with Guide to Enactment and Interpretation (2013), the UNCITRAL Legislative Recommendations on Insolvency of Micro- and Small Enterprises (2021) and the  UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law (parts one and two (2004), part three: Treatment of enterprise groups in insolvency (2010), part four: Directors' obligations in the period approaching insolvency (including in enterprise groups) (2019) and part five: Insolvency law for micro- and small enterprises (2021)).

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. For more information, visit:

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For information, please contact:

José Angelo Estrella-Faria 
Principal Legal Officer and Head, Legislative Branch 
UNCITRAL Secretariat 
Email: joseangelo.estrella-faria[at]