|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS CONVENTION ON RECOGNITION, ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN ARBITRAL
AWARDS IS CORNERSTONE OF RULE OF LAW IN GLOBAL TRADE RELATIONS, 50 YEARS LATER
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, delivered by Nicolas Michel, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, in New York, today, 1 February:
It gives me great pleasure to send my greetings to all participants in this special conference commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
This landmark instrument is one of the most successful treaties in the arena of international commercial law. It provided a basis for enforceable rights and binding commitments in international commercial agreements. It gave investors and companies confidence to do business in locations which they may have otherwise bypassed. And it quickly became a model for numerous other legislative texts on arbitration.
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.
At the time this document was signed, commercial arbitration was not in wide use as an alternative to solving commercial disputes in national courts. Fifty years on, arbitration has emerged as a fundamental mechanism for solving disputes in international commerce, and the Convention is celebrated as a cornerstone of the rule of law in international trade relations.
These advances occurred because of the efforts of the United Nations, in particular the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, as well as organizations like the International Bar Association. I am glad that this process will continue with this fiftieth anniversary conference, as you will review experience with the Convention, consider open issues in its use, and exchange opinions about possible further improvements to the system of international commercial arbitration.
I applaud all of you for your individual and collective contributions to the field of international dispute resolution. Let me also restate the United Nations as well as my own personal, strong and enduring commitment to advancing the rule of law in every sphere of international activity.
In that spirit, I thank the International Bar Association for organizing this conference, and I offer you my best wishes for a productive session.
* *** *