For information only - not an official document

26 September 2012

UNCITRAL work highlighted at UN High-Level Meeting on Rule of Law and in its Declaration

VIENNA, 26 September (UN Information Service) - By special invitation, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) represented by the Chair of its forty-fifth session, Hrvoje Sikirić, presented its views on strengthening the rule of law at the national and international levels at the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the rule of law, held in New York on 24 September 2012.

The UNCITRAL Chair's intervention provided a unique opportunity for the international community to consider a perspective not commonly associated with promotion of the rule of law - that is, from a commercial and trade point of view.

In its message, UNCITRAL highlighted the relevance of its work to the UN rule of law agenda, proposing steps for enhancing the capacity of States to comprehensively promote rule of law in the broader context, including in the economic field.

A key point made by UNCITRAL is that rule of law is not only about issues of public international law, human rights, criminal law and transitional justice. It also concerns the recognition and enforcement of property rights and contracts, guaranteeing the legal security required to promote entrepreneurship, investment and job creation, as well as the capacity of States to mobilize resources for rule-of-law fundamentals such as due process and judicial and legal infrastructure, including well-trained lawyers and judges. Promoting the rule of law in commercial relations must therefore become, as the General Assembly itself has acknowledged on numerous occasions, an integral part of the broader UN agenda to promote rule of law at the national and international levels.

For the full statement, see

In the Declaration of the high-level meeting, States echoed UNCITRAL's messages by recognizing that the rule of law and development are strongly interrelated and mutually reinforcing, and that this interrelationship should be considered in the post-2015 international development agenda. They have highlighted the importance of fair, stable and predictable legal frameworks for generating inclusive, sustainable and equitable development, economic growth and employment and facilitating entrepreneurship and investment. In this connection, States commended the work of UNCITRAL in modernizing and harmonizing international trade law. For the full text of the Declaration, see A/67/L.1.


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.

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For information contact:

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