Secretary-General hails arbitration agreement on fiftieth anniversary

1 February 2008 –

The United Nations Secretary-General has hailed a 50-year-old international convention on commercial arbitration as “a cornerstone of the rule of law in international trade relations.”

In a statement marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Ban Ki-moon said the agreement had provided a basis for enforceable rights and commitments in international commercial agreements, and had given companies the confidence to invest in places which they might otherwise have avoided.

“For the United Nations, the Convention also proved instrumental in establishing the Organization as a constructive force in international matters affecting not just States, but commercial actors as well,” Mr. Ban said in the statement, which was delivered by the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Nicholas Michel.

The Secretary-General went on to welcome the current 50th anniversary conference on the Convention, which will review its application, consider issues in its use and exchange opinions on areas for improvement.

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