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Sixty-seventh session

Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its forty-fifth session (Agenda item 77)

Summary of work

Background (source: A/67/100)

The General Assembly established the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) at its twenty-first session, in 1966, to promote the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade, and requested the Commission to submit an annual report to the Assembly (resolution 2205 (XXI)). The Commission began its work in 1968. It originally consisted of 29 Member States representing the various geographic regions and the principal legal systems of the world. At its twenty-eighth and fifty-seventh sessions, respectively, the General Assembly increased the membership of the Commission from 29 to 36 States (resolution 3108 (XXVIII)) and from 36 to 60 States (resolution 57/20).

For the current composition of the Commission, see decision 64/405.

At its sixty-sixth session, the General Assembly endorsed the efforts and initiatives of the Commission as the core legal body within the United Nations system in the field of international trade law (resolution 66/94).

At the same session, the General Assembly expressed its appreciation to the Commission for having developed and adopted the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on Public Procurement (resolution 66/95).

Also at that session, the General Assembly expressed its appreciation to the Commission for the completion and adoption of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency: the Judicial Perspective and requested the Secretariat to establish a mechanism for updating the Model Law on an ongoing basis (resolution 66/96).

 
Consideration at the sixty-seventh session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 9th, 23rd and 24th meetings, on 15 October and on 6 and 9 November 2012 (see A/C.6/67/SR.9, 23 and 24). For its consideration of the item, the Committee had before it the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its forty fifth session (A/67/17).

At the 9th meeting, on 15 October, the Chair of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law at its forty-fifth session introduced the report of the Commission on the work of its forty-fifth session.

Statements were made by the representatives of Norway (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Belarus, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, El Salvador, China, Austria, Canada, Singapore, the Russian Federation, Nigeria, India, Japan, the United States of America, Israel, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Greece and Iraq.

In their general observations, delegations welcomed the report of UNCITRAL on the work of its forty-fifth session and reiterated their support for its work. Some delegations stressed UNCITRAL’s contribution to the promotion of the rule of law. Some delegations supported initiatives of the UNCITRAL Secretariat in the field of technical assistance; it was observed that additional initiatives should make use of extrabudgetary resources. It was also indicated that UNCITRAL should optimize the use of existing resources through collaboration with Member States in dissemination activities. Support was expressed for the existing rotation between New York and Vienna for meetings of the Commission. The importance of the Digests and the Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts was stressed.

Several delegations welcomed the adoption of the Guide to Enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement, following the work of Working Group I (Procurement).

Several delegations also expressed appreciation for the adoption of the Recommendations to assist institutions and other interested bodies with regard to arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as revised in 2010. Some delegations expressed support for the work of Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation). Some other delegations stressed the importance of the study of transparency in treaty-based investor-State arbitration.

Several delegations commended the work of Working Group III (Online Dispute Resolution). Note was taken of the consideration of consumer protection. The view was expressed that the Commission should be cautious with respect to the inclusion of consumer transactions.

Some delegations favoured the work of Working Group IV (Electronic Commerce). Note was taken of the progress in the work on electronic transferable records.

With regard to Working Group V (Insolvency), some delegations welcomed work on responsibility and liability of directors and officers of an enterprise in insolvency and pre-insolvency cases. The work on the interpretation and application of the UNCITRAL Model Law on cross-border insolvency and on secured transactions was saluted.

Some delegations expressed appreciation for the work of Working Group VI (Security interests) on registration of security rights in movable assets.

With regard to future work, some delegations supported further work in the area of microfinance. Some delegations favoured work on public-private partnerships. It was suggested that the Commission should consider commercial fraud. A study of the model law for secured transactions was also favoured. Some delegations considered that work in the area of international contract law should not proceed at this time.

The opening of the UNICTRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific in Incheon (Republic of Korea) was welcomed. Mention was also made of the proposed establishment of a regional centre in Singapore, which was also welcomed. It was further indicated that the establishment of a regional centre in Moscow was currently under discussion.

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 23rd meeting, on 6 November, the representative of Austria, on behalf of Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), introduced a draft resolution entitled “Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its forty-fifth session” (A/C.6/67/L.8).

At the 24th meeting, on 9 November, Belgium and Malaysia joined in sponsoring the draft resolution. At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.6/67/L.8 without a vote.

At the 23rd meeting, on 6 November, the representative of Austria, on behalf of the Bureau, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Recommendations to assist arbitral institutions and other interested bodies with regard to arbitration under UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as revised in 2010” (A/C.6/67/L.7).

At its 24th meeting, on 9 November, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.6/67/L.7 without a vote.

Under the terms of draft resolution A/C.6/67/L.8, the General Assembly would, inter alia: commend the Commission of the finalization and adoption of a Guide to Enactment on Public Procurement and the Recommendations to assist arbitral institutions and other interested bodies with regard to arbitration under UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as revised in 2010; take note with interest of the progress made by the Commission in its work in the areas of arbitration and conciliation, online dispute resolution, electronic commerce, insolvency law and security interests; endorse the Commission’s agreement to hold colloquiums on microfinance and related matters, and in the area of public-private partnerships; note with appreciation UNCITRAL projects aimed at promoting the uniform and effective application of the 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards; and welcome the opening of the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific, in the Republic of Korea, and note with satisfaction expressions of interest from other States, including Kenya and Singapore, in hosting UNCITRAL regional centres.

Under the terms of draft resolution A/C.6/67/L.7, the General Assembly would express its appreciation to the Commission for the adoption of the Recommendations to assist arbitral institutions and other interested bodies with regard to arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as revised in 2010, recommend their use in the settlement of disputes arising in the context of international commercial relations, and request the Secretary-General to transmit the Recommendations broadly to Governments with the call for them to be made available to arbitral institutions and other interested bodies, and to publish them.

This agenda item was subsequently considered at the sixty-eighth session (2013).