Press Releases

    UNIS/L/105
    22 September 2006

    Sierra Leone Signs United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts

    VIENNA, 22 September (UN Information Service) -- Sierra Leone has signed the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Sierra Leone joins the Central African Republic, China, Lebanon, Madagascar, Senegal, Singapore and Sri Lanka as a signatory to this treaty.

    Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 23 November 2005, the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts aims to enhance legal certainty and commercial predictability where electronic communications are used in relation to international contracts. It addresses the determination of a party's location in an electronic environment; the time and place of dispatch and receipt of electronic communications; the use of automated message systems for contract formation; and the criteria to be used for establishing functional equivalence between electronic communications and paper documents - including "original" paper documents - as well as between electronic authentication methods and hand-written signatures. Information on the Convention, including the webcast of a special event dedicated to the Convention held on 6 July 2006, is available on the UNCITRAL website.

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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
    E-mail: jenny.clift@uncitral.org

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