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    UNIS/L/136
    14 June 2010

    UN Commission on International Trade Law to Hold
    43rd Session in New York, 21 June - 9 July 2010

    VIENNA, 22 June (UN Information Service) - The finalization and adoption of draft texts on arbitration, secured transactions and insolvency will be key topics for consideration by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as it meets in New York, for its 43rd session from 21 June - 9 July 2010.

    Finalization and adoption of a revised version of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules

    The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (1976) are recognized as a successful text used for the settlement of a broad range of disputes, including disputes between private commercial parties where no arbitral institution is involved, investor-State disputes, State-to-State disputes and commercial disputes administered by arbitral institutions.

    In 2006, the Commission decided that the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules should be revised to meet changes in arbitral practice over the last thirty years. The revision is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of arbitration under the Rules and does not alter the structure of the text, its spirit or drafting style.

    The revised UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules to be considered by the Commission include, amongst others, provisions dealing with multiple parties arbitration and joinder, liability, interim measures, enhanced procedures for replacement of an arbitrator, the requirement for reasonableness of costs and a new review mechanism regarding the costs of arbitration.

    Finalization and adoption of a draft supplement to the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions dealing with security rights in intellectual property

    After completing the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions (the "Guide") in 2007, the Commission entrusted Working Group VI (Security Interests) with the preparation of a draft Supplement to the Guide dealing with security rights in intellectual property (the "draft Supplement"). The Working Group completed its work in February 2010 after five one-week sessions. The Commission is expected to finalize and adopt the draft Supplement at this session. The draft Supplement will be the third text prepared by the Commission in the field of secured transactions law after the Guide (2007) and the United Nations Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade (2001).

    The overall objective of the Guide is to promote low-cost credit by enhancing the availability of secured credit. In line with this objective, the draft Supplement is intended to make cheaper and more accessible credit available to intellectual property owners and other intellectual property rights holders, thus enhancing the value of intellectual property rights. The draft Supplement, however, seeks to achieve this objective without interfering with fundamental policies of law relating to intellectual property.

    Finalization and adoption of part three of the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law on the treatment of enterprise groups in insolvency

    The UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law, adopted by the Commission in 2004, provides a short introduction to the treatment of corporate or enterprise groups in insolvency. A more in-depth consideration was not undertaken in order to avoid delay in completion of the Guide. However, since the business of corporations is increasingly conducted, both nationally and internationally, through enterprise groups and since much of the legislation relating to corporations and particularly to their treatment in insolvency does not address those groups, UNCITRAL decided, in 2006, that the treatment of enterprise groups in insolvency should be the subject of further work.

    Work on that topic commenced in 2006 and covers both domestic and international issues. Since 2006 there has increasing interest, given new impetus by the global financial crisis, in the development of mechanisms to better handle the insolvency of large multinational enterprise groups. When finalized and adopted by the Commission, the draft text will form part three of the Legislative Guide and provide timely guidance on how to improve the global administration of enterprise group insolvencies.

    Other topics to be discussed

    A panel discussion on the role of UNCITRAL in promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels is expected to take place on Wednesday, 7 July, from 3 pm to 6 pm, after consideration of all other substantive items on the agenda of the session. The panel and ensuing discussions will focus on laws and practices of States in the domestic implementation and interpretation of UNCITRAL norms and standards, including the issues of technical assistance, capacity-building and donor coherence. UNCITRAL is expected to transmit its comments on these issues to the General Assembly in the report of the session.

    The agenda for the meeting also includes progress reports from working groups, including revision of the 1994 Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services. The coordination of UNCITRAL's work with that of other international organizations active in the field of international trade law and potential future work on a number of topics are other key issues.

    The status and promotion of UNCITRAL legal texts and technical cooperation and assistance to law reform are also scheduled for discussion.

    Membership

    The Commission is composed of 60 Member States elected by the United Nations General Assembly. Membership is structured so as to be representative of the world's geographic regions and its principal economic and legal systems. Members of the Commission are elected for terms of six years, the terms of half members expiring every three years.

    Following elections in November 2009, new members will join the Commission at the commencement of the 43rd session. On 21 June 2010, UNCITRAL will be composed of the following 60 member States: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Honduras, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.

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    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, and maintains a website at www.uncitral.org.

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    For information contact:

    Jenny Clift
    Senior Legal Officer
    UNCITRAL Secretariat
    Email: jenny.clift@uncitral.org