For information only - not an official document

22 June 2012

UN Commission on International Trade Law to Hold
45th Session in New York, 25 June - 6 July 2012

VIENNA, 22 June (UN Information Service) - The Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, Patricia O'Brien, will open the 45th session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on 25 June in New York. Key topics for consideration by the Commission will include finalization and adoption of draft texts on procurement and arbitration.

Finalization and adoption of a Guide to Enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement

The Commission is expected to finalize a Guide to Enactment for the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement. The Guide will provide recommendations to States on how to implement the Model Law and is considered by the Commission as an indispensable accompaniment to the text of the Law.

The Model Law was adopted by UNCITRAL in 2011 and is intended to enable government purchasers to take advantage of modern commercial techniques, such as e-procurement and framework agreements, and to enhance integrity in public procurement. It reflects international best practice and is designed to be appropriate for all States.

Finalization and adoption of recommendations to assist arbitral institutions and other interested bodies with regard to arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules

The Commission is also expected to finalize a set of recommendations to assist arbitral institutions with arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (as revised in 2010). The recommendations follow the same pattern as those adopted by the Commission in 1982 to assist institutions with arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (1976).

The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules were revised in 2010 to better conform to current practices in international trade and to meet changes in arbitral practice that had taken place over the last thirty years. Upon adoption of the revised UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in 2010, the Commission requested the preparation of recommendations on the revised Rules, in particular to take account of the extended role of the appointing authority under those Rules. For the development of the recommendations on the revised Rules, the UNCITRAL Secretariat consulted governments and numerous arbitral institutions.

Other topics to be discussed

The Commission will consider a proposal from Switzerland to undertake work in the field of international contract law. UNCITRAL's past work in this area includes the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), an influential and widely applied treaty with 78 States parties.

The Commission will also consider UNCITRAL's strategic direction and the recently established UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific.

The agenda for the meeting also includes reports from working groups, covering work on electronic transferable records, insolvency law, online dispute resolution for cross-border electronic commerce transactions, registration of security rights in movable assets, and transparency in treaty-based investor-State arbitration. The Commission will also consider possible future work in the areas of public procurement and microfinance.

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, its possible endorsement of the Unidroit Principles 2010 and Incoterms 2010 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 25 June 2012, UNCITRAL will be composed of the following 60 member States: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.


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]