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    UNIS/L/227
    15 January 2016

    European Union and OPEC Fund to support the operation of UNCITRAL Transparency Registry

    VIENNA, 15 January (UN Information Service) - The European Union (EU) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) agreed with the United Nations in December 2015 to provide grants, of €100,000 and US$125,000 respectively, to support the operation of the UNCITRAL Transparency Registry. The Transparency Registry has been established in accordance with the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (the 'Rules') in order to make information available to the public on arbitrations between a State and an investor arising under an investment treaty. The Transparency Registry provides a consolidated, transparent and easily accessible global case record database for such arbitrations, which often deal with subjects of public interest.

    The Transparency Registry is also a key feature of the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (the 'Convention') adopted in December 2014 to allow for the application of the Rules to investment treaties concluded before 1 April 2014. The Rules, the Convention and the Transparency Registry constitute the UNCITRAL standards on transparency, which are the result of a multilateral effort to reform investment arbitration, in particular to enhance awareness of and access to the process of dispute settlement. By making information about investment disputes publicly accessible, the UNCITRAL standards contribute to building confidence in the international investment framework. Furthermore, they constitute an important step in responding to the increasing challenges to the legitimacy of international investment law and arbitration as such.

    The European Union has expressed that transparency is at the core of its investment policy and that transparency contributes to increasing legitimacy and accountability of the investor-State dispute settlement.

    OFID, a development finance institution established by Member States of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is supporting the project as part of its cooperation with the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world.

    The contributions of the European Union and OFID will enable the UNCITRAL Secretariat to make the Transparency Registry fully operational as requested by the UN General Assembly in December 2015.

    The Transparency Registry can be accessed at http://www.uncitral.org/transparency-registry.

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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 .

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    For information contact:

    Timothy Lemay
    Principal Legal Officer
    UNCITRAL Secretariat
    Email: timothy.lemay[at]uncitral.org