For information only - not an official document

11 July 2012

UN Commission on International Trade Law Concludes 45th Session in New York

UNCITRAL adopts texts on procurement and arbitration, stresses the impact of its work on the rule of law and hears proposals on additional regional centres

VIENNA, 11 July (UN Information Service) -  On 6 July 2012, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) concluded its 45th annual session.

Finalization and adoption of texts

During the session, the Commission adopted a Guide to Enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement, which provides recommendations to States on how to implement the Model Law. The Commission also adopted the "Recommendations to assist arbitral institutions and other interested bodies with regard to arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (as revised in 2010)".

Future work

The Commission decided that the UNCITRAL Secretariat should hold colloquia in the coming months on a number of topics to explore avenues of future work for the Commission. In the area of procurement, the Commission requested a colloquium on the topic of public-private partnerships. The Commission also requested a colloquium on microfinance focusing on the facilitation of simplified business incorporation and registration; the creation of an enabling legal and credit environment for micro, small and medium enterprises; and dispute resolution applicable to microfinance transactions. Based on a proposal by Switzerland, the Commission agreed that a meeting or symposium should be held on the topic of general contract law with a view to determining the desirability of future work in that field. Finally, commercial fraud was also proposed as colloquium topic for the coming year.

The Commission also confirmed that its Working Groups should continue their work on cross-border insolvency, electronic transferable records, online dispute resolution, registration of security rights in movable assets and transparency in treaty-based investor-State arbitration.

Rule of law briefing

During the session, a rule of law briefing took place in the Commission in the context of the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the topic to be held on 24 September. The high-level meeting was viewed in the Commission as giving a unique opportunity for the international community to look at rule of law issues from a commercial law point of view, to increase knowledge about the impact of UNCITRAL  and commercial law reform on the promotion of the rule of law, and to make progress in achieving effective integration of UNCITRAL's instruments, tools and expertise in the United Nations joint rule of law activities.

After the briefing, the Commission formulated a message to the high-level meeting and agreed that any outcome document from the meeting should refer to UNCITRAL work and recognize the contribution made by UNCITRAL in the promotion of the rule of law in the economic field and in the broader context. The Commission also emphasized the importance of having the UNCITRAL Chairman address the high-level meeting and suggested UNCITRAL-related sub-topics for consideration in future debates of the General Assembly Sixth Committee under agenda item "Rule of law".

UNCITRAL regional centres pilot project

During the session, the Commission heard a report on the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific, which was opened in Incheon, Republic of Korea on 10 January 2012. The Commission also heard detailed statements by Singapore and Kenya expressing interest in establishing additional regional centres.


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.

* *** *

For information contact:

Timothy Lemay
Principal Legal Officer
UNCITRAL Secretariat
Email: timothy.lemay[at]