Newly Adopted Transparency Rules Play Fundamental Role in Good Governance, United Nations International Trade Law Body Tells Sixth Committee

14 October 2013
GA/L/3459

Newly Adopted Transparency Rules Play Fundamental Role in Good Governance, United Nations International Trade Law Body Tells Sixth Committee

14 October 2013
General Assembly
GA/L/3459
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-eighth General Assembly

Sixth Committee

9th Meeting (PM)

Newly Adopted Transparency Rules Play Fundamental Role in Good Governance,

United Nations International Trade Law Body Tells Sixth Committee

Delegates Conclude Consideration of Special Charter Committee’s Report

The highlight of its summer session had been the adoption of the Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration, stated Michael Schöll, Chair of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as the Sixth Committee took up the Commission’s report.

“Transparency lies at the very foundation of good governance,” Mr. Schöll emphasized.  Indeed, the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda had called for a “transparency revolution” to empower citizens to have greater scrutiny over Government actions and expenditures. 

Three years of negotiations in the working group on arbitration had made clear that views on what information a Government owed its citizens differed radically among countries, making the issue a highly sensitive one, he said.  However, over the years, UNCITRAL and its working groups had developed highly effective working methods and a negotiation culture that was robust and inclusive.  “The Rules on Transparency were just one example of UNCITRAL’s unparalleled ability to translate a broad global policy agenda into legal norms that carry rights and obligations for individuals,” he said.

Recognizing the Commission’s work, Cuba’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, said that for Community member States, participating in UNICTRAL sessions entailed a significant effort.  Alternating the meetings between New York and Vienna would make easier the participation of many countries, in particular developing ones.

Concluding the debate on the Special Committee on the United Nations Charter, many delegates continued to voice concern over the use of sanctions and the Security Council’s encroachment on the powers of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council.  As well, while some called for increased action by the Committee and others for a curtailing of agenda items, the Russian Federation’s representative said that the Special Committee was living through a “not so active stage” in its history.  However, he could not agree with the proposals to switch the Committee to “sleep mode”.

Other speakers participating in the concluding debate on the Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on Strengthening of the Role of the Organization were representatives of Trinidad and Tobago (on behalf of the Caribbean Community), Ukraine, Republic of Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Malaysia, Libya, Iran, China, Venezuela, Tunisia, United States, Morocco, Philippines, Democratic Republic of Korea, Belarus, Syria and Sudan.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were representatives of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Also speaking today on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law were representatives of Denmark (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Austria and Switzerland.

The Sixth Committee will next convene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 16 October, to resume its consideration of that agenda item and to take up criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission.

Background

The Sixth Committee met this afternoon to conclude its debate on the Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on Strengthening of the Role of the Organization (for background, see Press Release GA/L/3458).  It would then commence consideration of the Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its forty-sixth session (document A/68/17).

Statements on the Special Committee on the Charter

EDEN CHARLES (Trinidad and Tobago), speaking for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), joined its statement to those of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.  He said that more time could be spent on addressing new areas, including legal matters relating to the reform and revitalization of the Organization and its organs; legal aspects of the arrangements concerning interactions with new actors on the international stage, such as civil society and non-governmental organizations; and consideration of reform proposals that would enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations system.

The Special Committee should remain seized of measures adopted by the Security Council to ensure that such actions were not ultra vires and were consistent with the Charter, he continued.  Recognizing the Council’s role in prescribing measures, including the application of sanctions, he said the Special Committee must remain vigilant to ensure that they were consistent with the Charter and other non-derogable norms of international law.  Correspondingly, it was important to consider implementation of the Charter’s provisions to provide assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions.  In particular, vulnerable groups in targeted countries should receive relief.

OLEKSANDR PAVLICHENKO (Ukraine) said that while his delegation shared most of the points made by the European Union delegation, neither the General Assembly nor the Economic and Social Council had found it necessary to take any action related to economic problems arising from sanctions affecting third States this year.  Further, the Secretariat had highlighted that no State had appealed to the United Nations for remedy and relief from economic problems relating to such sanctions since 2003.  It could then be agreed that the question of assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions might no longer be a priority for the Special Committee.  However, the fact that no State had required assistance in the matter should not imply that the subject had to be removed.  It was necessary to keep that item on the Special Committee’s agenda.  The proposal by some delegations that the Special Committee focus on establishing an evaluation mechanism of the effects of sanctions on third States, as well as assistance to affected States, merited further consideration.

LEE MOON-HEE ( Republic of Korea) said that the Special Committee’s agenda items should be rearranged to avoid duplications and overlap of work by other United Nations organs.  Its work should be consistent with those organs to minimize incurring unintended side-effects by its activities, given the gravity of the responsibility of its mandate.  Also, bearing in mind the limited resources of the Organization and Member States, he suggested decreasing the frequency of Special Committee meetings and adjusting the duration of its sessions.

TANIERIS DIEGUEZ LAO (Cuba), associating her delegation with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that the Special Committee must both promote and remain open to a full debate on any proposed resolution or action to be taken by United Nations organs when such moves would have legal implications for complying with and implementing the Charter.  Despite recent attempts by some countries to refine the work of the Special Committee, some delegations continue to hamper its work, and had prevented the approval of some documents aimed to promote the rule of law in the Organization.  The Secretariat could organize the Committee’s work to allow more time for substantive debate on those proposals through a working group, in order to have an effective record of the work of States.

Proposals, she continued, should be discussed paragraph by paragraph as was done in other cases.  However, developed States that wanted to see the Special Committee abolished or reduce its work to a bare minimum so that it could allege that it achieved no substantial results, were constantly sabotaging the Special Committee’s efforts.  She stated that her delegation deplored the current situation in which the Committee found itself, and which was a direct result of the political will on the part of certain States.  Stating that she was against any attempt to reduce its work, she expressed gratitude to Venezuela and Ghana for their proposals and their clear willingness to contribute to the Special Committee’s work.

KARLA RAMIREZ ( Nicaragua) said that there was an urgent need to reform the United Nations, particularly in regards to the encroachment of the Security Council on the General Assembly.  Further, the Council must not apply sanctions as a preventive measure.  She also rejected the use of unilateral sanctions and the selective application of international law.  The International Court of Justice was of vital importance to the peaceful settlement of disputes, which must continue to be on the Special Committee’s agenda.  She supported the working document put forth by Cuba on strengthening the Organization.  In closing, she said that cutting the work of the Committee was yet another way of slowing down its vital work.

RAJA REZA RAJA ZAIB SHAH ( Malaysia), associating his delegation with the Non-Aligned Movement, said he remained concerned about the impact of the application of sanctions.  While he appreciated improvements made to some sanctions committees, his delegation was, in general, against their application.  Sanctions hurt the people of a State, while doing little to their intended target.  They should only be considered as a last resort and when there was no clear threat to international peace and security.  Further sanctions should not be considered for preventive measures and should be applied only in accordance with the Charter and international law.  He expressed appreciation that the Security Council had continued to shift from comprehensive economic sanctions to targeted sanctions, but noted that the issue of assistance to affected third States should continue to be considered.

MALAK M. M. SALIM (Libya), associating herself with the African Group and the Non-Aligned Movement, said that her delegation had submitted many proposals on strengthening the work of the Organization, in particular, one that focused on the role of sanctions.  She also spoke of the importance of the Repertory and the Repertoire as they provided an important historical archive of the Organization from the beginning.  The ability of the Special Committee to fulfil its mandate depended on the political will of its Members.  She assured all present that her delegation was prepared to make its contribution.

SERGEY LEONIDCHENKO (Russian Federation), noting that criticisms had been voiced, once again, at the Special Committee’s spring session about the pace of its work slowing down, said his delegation partially shared those concerns.  As the Special Committee was living through a “not so active stage” in its history, there was a need for a certain balanced optimization of its work.  However, he could not agree with the proposals to switch the Committee to “sleep mode”.  The Special Committee should continue on a regular basis and maintain its ability to take up, as required, consideration of any substantive proposals within its competence.  Recalling that, for quite some time, it had had before it a joint Russia-Belarus proposal requesting an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal effects of the use of force by the States without prior authorization by the Security Council, he said it was unfortunate that, to date, no solution had been found on the basis of consensus.  Nonetheless, the proposal had some potential.

HOSSEIN GHARIBI (Iran), associating his delegation with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the single most important achievement of the United Nations was the prohibition of the threat or use of force.  He supported meaningful consideration of all proposals concerning the maintenance of international peace and security on the Special Committee’s agenda, including the proposal by Belarus and the Russian Federation.  Further, sanctions imposed pursuant to determinations of the notion of threat to peace and security based on political manipulation of the Council by some permanent Members could not be seen as legitimate and lawful.  The arbitrary use of economic sanctions against developing countries remained a matter of serious concern.  The continuing encroachment by the Security Council on the General Assembly’s functions should be a priority for the Committee.

SHANG ZHEN ( China) said the Security Council should continue to take a cautious and responsible approach to the use of sanctions, and should resort to it only when all peaceful means had been exhausted.  Should sanctions become necessary, it was imperative to ensure that they were in line with international law, including the Charter.  They must have clear objectives and predetermined timelines, and be subject to periodic reviews.  Upon the achievement of the objections, sanctions should be lifted immediately.  Those actions were crucial for mitigating the negative impact that sanctions could inflict on the population and third States.  Noting that the Security Council had worked actively in recent years to reduce the negative impact of sanctions, he expressed readiness to join other delegations in exploring practical solutions to that question.

GLENNA CABELLO DE DABOIN (Venezuela), associating her delegation with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Non-Aligned Movement, said that in order to turn the goals of the Charter and the Millennium Development Goals into reality, the United Nations had to be democratized and the role of the General Assembly strengthened.  The tendency of the Security Council to encroach on issues that were the purview of the Assembly or Economic and Social Council must be reversed. The Special Committee should undertake the analysis of legal means to revitalize the Assembly, particularly in areas of peace and security.  Further sanctions regimes must be clearly defined on a justifiable legal basis and be removed as soon as goals were achieved.  She spoke against any coercive unilateral measures.

NOUR ZARROUK BOUMIZA (Tunisia), associating her delegation with the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Group, said that at a time when reform of the United Nations was no longer a choice, much remained to be done in promoting the Charter’s objectives and principles.  An in-depth democratization of the Security Council was needed. The General Assembly must respond more rapidly to issues pertaining to the maintenance of international peace and security.  Further, mechanisms should be transparent.  Sanctions must be a measure of last resort, imposed only for a specific period, lifted as soon as objectives were achieved and not harm the civilian population.  Deliberations on that issue were far from being completed because other aspects required consideration.  Following a number of consultations, a number of proposals had reached an advanced stage and it was time to adopt them.

JOHN R. ARBOGAST ( United States) said that many of the issues in long-standing proposals before the Special Committee had been taken up and considered elsewhere in the United Nations.  The withdrawal of such proposals during the 2012 session had been a welcome step towards the much-needed rationalization of the Special Committee’s work.  Further, deleting a section from its annual report on “Recommendations”, which were redundant or contain rote, rollover provisions with little connection to the Special Committee’s work, was also a welcome step.  He encouraged its review efforts and urged the Committee to continue to remain focused on ways to improve its efficiency and productivity throughout its session.

On agenda items concerning international peace and security, he said the Committee should not pursue activities in that area that would be duplicative or inconsistent with the roles of the principal United Nations organs as set forth in the Charter.  He also noted that, on the matter of sanctions, no official appeals by third States had been conveyed to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs to monitor or evaluate since June 2003.  Thus, the Special Committee should decide that the issue no longer merited discussion in the Committee.  In regards to the General Assembly requesting an advisory opinion on the use of force from the International Court of Justice, he said the United States did not support that proposal.

Mr. LASRI ( Morocco) said sanctions should be imposed only as a last resort and only after all means for the peaceful settlement of disputes had been exhausted.  Further, its implementation should be for a specific and limited period of time, constantly monitored, and modified or lifted if no longer needed.  Within that framework, she expressed relief at the amendments made to the sanctions regime that enabled the Security Council Committee for Sanctions to improve its work methods and increase its interaction with Member States in order to ensure their compliance in that field.

EDUARDO JOSE A. DE VEGA ( Philippines), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the peaceful settlement of disputes between States was a priority for the Movement as well as for the Special Committee.  Arbitration was one of the modes of peaceful settlement identified by the Charter and the 1982 Manila Declaration.  “The Philippines continues to breathe life into these living instruments and the institutions they support through the arbitration proceedings we initiated to clarify maritime entitlements and thus resolve, with certainty and predictability, the maritime disputes in our region,” he said.  His country was also actively seeking the expeditious conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the region, in order to manage tensions.  That was an opportunity for the parties concerned to collectively observe the rule of law, while respecting each other’s rights and interests.

KIM YONG SONG (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that in almost seventy years since the United Nations’ had been founded, the issues contradicting the basis of its Charter’s purposes and principles continued to exist in its activities.  In the Security Council, important issues related to Member States’ vital interests were being dealt with by some countries according to their own political and strategic interests.  Even the legitimate peaceful measures of developing countries to safeguard sovereignty and improve their economy were questioned as threats to peace and security, he said.  The Special Committee needed to push ahead with the Organization’s reform, including the termination of “arbitrariness and high-handedness” of the Council.

The most important task in strengthening the Charter, he continued, was to end the history of abusing the name of the Organization.  The “United Nations Command” had been illegally formed by the United States to justify its military intervention and was still involved in hostilities against his country, creating military confrontations and threatening peace and security in the Korean Peninsula, and even the Asia Pacific region.  He expected that Member States would actively contribute to ending the abuse of the United Nations’s name by dismantling the “United Nations Command” without any further delay.

Ms. TATARINOVICH (Belarus), associating her delegation with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the Special Committee’s ability to come up with legally considered decisions on actual issues could help to create the political will for the Organization to step up its work.  She noted that the Special Committee and the Organization as a whole must respond to the unilateral imposition of sanctions by some States or groups of States, appropriating the prerogatives of the Security Council and undermining the authority of the Organization.  She highlighted the initiative of Belarus and the Russian Federation to seek an advisory opinion on the matter from the International Court of Justice.  Stressing the importance of striking a balance between the functions and powers of the Organization’s principal organs, she underscored that the Special Committee had the authority to interpret the Charter and propose measures upon which to take for the Assembly.

KOUSSAY ABDULJABBAR ALDAHHAK (Syria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, demanded an end to unilateral measures taken against Syrians and other people, stressing that those measures were arbitrary and illegal, and represented grave violations of international law and the Charter.  He expressed support for the proposal by Russia and Belarus to request a legal opinion on the legal consequences of using armed force by a State or a group of States in violation of the Charter.  His country had suffered from such grave violations, which had been perpetrated by specific Governments through clear intervention in Syrian domestic affairs.

Specifically, through support and financing, Qatar played a destructive role that targeted Syria and a number of nations in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the Sahel of Africa, he said.  Many reports of the United Nations and other organizations had alluded to that Qatari role.  Events also highlighted the Qatari regime’s support for the extremist terrorist movements in Mali, Syria, Tunisia, and Egypt, among others.  The establishment of an embassy for the Taliban in Doha was an expression of Qatar’s support for terrorism and its lack of respect for international law and the Charter.  He called upon the United Nations to hold the Qatari regime and others accountable for their actions, and to respect the United Nations Charter.

HASSAN ALI HASSAN ALI (Sudan), associating his delegation to the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Group, noted the decision by African leaders in Addis Ababa yesterday to reject the targeting of African leaders by the International Criminal Court. They had also called for dialogue with the Security Council on issues of peace and security.  Furthermore, the Council in its current form was outdated and must not become a tool serving only a specific group of nations.  Balance must be achieved between the Organization’s agencies and organs.  He expressed concern over the use of sanctions and Chapter VII over the last two decades.  Sanctions and their enforcement must receive greater legal scrutiny and must be a last resort after exhausting all peaceful measures encouraged by the Charter.  He also rejected unilateral sanctions, considering them a political tool used by some nations.

Right of Reply

In exercise of the right of reply, a representative of the Republic of Korea said the United Nations Command had been legally created under the Security Council’s relevant resolutions.  The validity of those resolutions had been reaffirmed by the Security Council and International Court of Justice advisory opinion.  Regarding the General Assembly resolution mentioned by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said that the General Assembly in 1975 had adopted two separate resolutions regarding the question of the grand peninsula.  It was misleading to take those resolutions out of context.  Further, the Sixth Committee was not the appropriate forum to discuss the status of the United Nations Command.

A delegate of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, responding to his counterpart from the Republic of Korea, said the United Nations Command was a 50-year remnant of the cold war.  The Security Council resolutions regarding the provocation of the Korean War and the formation of the United Nations Command were, in light of the Charter, all illegal.  The former Soviet Union, one of the Council’s permanent members, had not attended the Security Council meetings which adopted the resolutions.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which was party to the conflict, had been excluded from deliberations on that issue.

In the relevant resolutions, he said his country could not find expressed language like “UN Command”.  The United Nations itself was denying its connection to the United Nations Command.  Former United Nations Secretaries-Generals, including Kofi Annan, had testified to that on several occasions through their statements and official documents.  The latest one was made recently at a press conference by the Secretary-General’s Deputy Spokesperson, who stated, “The United Nations has never had any role in the command of any armed forces deployed in the Korean peninsula…” 

The Korean peninsula, he continued, was now moving closer to the brink of war.  Its very source was coming from the United States army in the South wearing United Nations helmets.  The United States had staged lots of military drills on the Korean peninsula against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  A few days ago, a nuclear-powered carrier, the George Washington, had entered the territorial waters of the Republic of Korea, and had staged a joint naval military exercise.

The representative of the Republic of Korea said it was unfortunate to hear the delegate of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea make baseless accusations and biased statements regarding the United Nations Command, which maintained peace in the Korean peninsula.  Regarding the Security Council resolutions, the International Court of Justice had reconfirmed their validity.  The United Nations Command had been established according to all due procedures of the Council.

He also said that the joint military exercise between the Republic of Korea and the United States were legitimate drills, purely defensive in nature, and had contributed to the deterrence of military action in the Korean peninsula.  Further, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had been notified in advance every year.  The Sixth Committee was not the venue for discussion of the status of the United Nations Command, and no time should be wasted on that irrelevant issue.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said the South did not have any justification to get involved in that United Nations Command issue.  The United Nations Command was being controlled by the United States, not by the Republic of Korea.  If any party would like to exercise the right of reply concerning the United Nations Command, it should be the United States.  Further, the Sixth Committee was the appropriate forum to discuss the issue.

Introduction of Report

MICHAEL SCHÖLL, Chair, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), presenting the Commission’s report, said that the rules on transparency had been the session’s key items.  The first instrument adopted by the Commission, the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration, acknowledged that the general public was a fundamental stakeholder in investor-State disputes.  Under those Rules, arbitration would now be generally open to the public.  The Rules were also innovative in balancing the public interest in an arbitration involving a State, and the interest of disputing parties in a fair and efficient resolution of their dispute.  To that end, a Transparency Repository would be established.   He also noted that the three years of negotiations in the working group on arbitration had made clear that views on what information a Government owed its citizens radically differed among countries, making the issue a highly sensitive one.

He then turned to the area of security interests, and the adoption of the UNCITRAL Guide on the Implementation of a Security Rights Registry.  The new Registry Guide supplemented the already existing Secured Transaction Guide, providing recommendations on the establishment and operation of such registries, and making any secured transactions regime more efficient and reliable.  Broad implementation of both guides would facilitate cross-border recognition of security rights and thus, international trade.  On the matter of insolvency, the Commission had adopted revisions to the Guide to Enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency.  He expressed hope that the European Union Insolvency Regulation currently being considered would be in step with the work completed by UNICTRAL.

He then touched on legislative work conducted by the Commission in such areas as electronic commerce and online dispute resolution, with a focus on the needs of developing countries and countries in post-conflict situations.  The Commission had also investigated how it should best use its resources for legislative activities and technical assistance, deciding that such strategic debates should appear on all agendas in the future.  While insisting on the need for clear mandates regarding legislative matters, the Commission also recognized that some subjects required more informal methods, but only on the condition that all legislative texts would be examined before their adoption.  It then established four criteria to determine whether a working group was needed for a particular subject.  In that regard, a new working group had been established to focus on micro-small and medium-sized enterprises.

Turning to technical assistance and coordination of law reform, he stressed the importance of finding new extra-budgetary resources for that activity, and called upon States to act as intermediaries with international organizations and other interested entities to make contributions to the appropriate funds.  He went on to speak of the Commission’s regional work, with a focus on the UNCITRAL Centre for Asia and the Pacific, and of a database of jurisprudence that had applied UNCITRAL texts.  Known as CLOUT, it helped to promote uniform interpretation and application of the Commission’s texts, which were being used with greater frequency throughout the world.

Speaking of the Commission’s role in promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels, he said that UNCITRAL had played an important role toward achieving universal accession to the New York Convention, which for more than 50 years had been the bedrock of international arbitration. The newly-adopted UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency were also expected to play a major role in achieving transparency and accountability, both fundamentals of the rule of law. Finally, on the topic, he said that the Commission would contribute to the post-2015 agenda through relevant processes in the light of its role in the promotion of the rule of law and sustainable development.

He said that over the years, UNCITRAL and its working groups had developed highly effective working methods and a negotiation culture that was robust and inclusive. “[T]he [newly-adopted] Rules on Transparency were just one example of UNCITRAL’s unparalleled ability to translate a broad global policy agenda into legal norms that carry rights and obligations for individuals,” he stated.  Should the United Nations ever decide to take its Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights one step further and seek to translate those principles into concrete concepts of international corporate and commercial law, there would be no doubt that UNCITRAL would be the natural addressee for such a task.

“Transparency lies at the very foundation of good governance,” he said, pointing out that the rules would take effect April, 2014, at which time States could incorporate them into new investment treaties.  The United Nations would seem to be the proper outlet for the repository service required by the Rules. Indeed, the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda called for a “transparency revolution” to empower citizens to have greater scrutiny over government actions and expenditures.  He called for the support of the Sixth and Fifth Committees to provide the necessary resources for the UNCITRAL Secretariat to undertake this new function.

Statements on UNCITRAL

CHRISTIAN KARSTENSEN (Denmark), speaking for the five Nordic countries, said that his country had been elected as a member of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), succeeding Norway in representing the Nordic countries.  He noted the adoption of the Transparency Rules, the related revision of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, the UNCITRAL Guide on the Implementation of a Security Rights Registry, revisions to the Guide to Enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and part four of the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law, among other things.  In addition, he expressed appreciation for the working groups’ efforts that led to the adoption of those documents, and said that the Nordic countries welcomed the Commission’s decision to have a working group start on reducing legal obstacles faced by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

TANIERIS DIEGUEZ LAO (Cuba), speaking for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, said significant improvements could be noted in each one of the six working groups.  The challenges of the United Nations in the codification of international trade law had increased over time. The volume and characteristics of global trade had undergone transformations due to ongoing technological development and the diversification of business activities, which implied that the work of the Commission should go along with the dynamics of trade activities as closely as possible.

She said that for the member States of the Community, participating in UNICTRAL’s sessions entailed a significant effort.  For that reason, she addressed paragraphs 348 and 349 on “The dates and venues of future meetings” in the Commission’s report.  The traditional modality of alternating venues for the meetings between New York and Vienna would make easier the participation of many countries, in particular, developing ones.  Budget constraints of the Organization should affect the modalities of meetings of subsidiary bodies as little as possible.  Making the participation of Member States as wide as possible enriched the debates and helped attain substantive results.

CATHERINE QUIDENUS ( Austria) said that, with the UNICTRAL secretariat acting as a repository, published information under transparency rules would play a critical role in implementing those rules, and would serve as a significant tool for fighting corruption and promoting the rule of law in international investment.  Commercial arbitration was one of the most effective means of resolving international economic disputes, such as cross-border disputes over investments in natural resources.  UNCITRAL had been working on that area since its inception 47 years ago.

She also said that Austria would again serve as coordinator for the Commission’s resolutions, noting that five draft resolutions would be circulated to all Permanent Missions in the coming days.  The draft texts included: the annual Omnibus Resolution on the Report of UNCITRAL on the work of its forty-sixth session; the Revision of the Guide to Enactment of the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency; Part four of the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law; the UNCITRAL Guide on the Implementation of a Security Rights Registry; and the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (as revised in 2010, with new article 1, paragraph 4, as adopted in 2013).

Mr. SILBESSOHMICTH (Switzerland) said that the adoption of transparency guidelines had helped make the Commission and its working methods a success.  Finding solutions and reaching consensus in an area as important and sensitive as transparency could have been the Commission’s most politically challenging project in a long time, and his delegation actively supported the Commission’s work towards a multilateral convention to make the transparency rules apply to existing investment treaties.

He went on to say that the creation of a repository, or registry, was critical to implementing those transparency rules.  That registry would provide a publicly accessible platform for the rules to be made available, with the UNCITRAL Secretariat as the natural host, for it.  The Commission’s work on transparency in investor-state arbitration was, he said, an important contribution to the promotion of the rule of law and human rights at the national and international levels.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.