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    UNIS/L/137
    17 June 2010

    Honduras Ratifies the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts

    VIENNA, 17 June (UN Information Service) - With its ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (the Electronic Communications Convention), Honduras becomes the first State Party to the Convention.

    The Electronic Communications Convention aims to enhance legal certainty and commercial predictability where electronic communications are used in relation to international contracts. It addresses, among other things, 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.

    The goals of the Electronic Communications Convention include: removing legal obstacles to the use of electronic communications that may arise from the terms of international agreements concluded before the widespread use of electronic media; fostering the modernization and harmonization of existing e-commerce legislation; and providing jurisdictions that have not yet adopted laws on electronic transactions with a modern set of rules for both domestic and international application.

    The Electronic Communications Convention is open indefinitely for ratification and accession. It will enter into force six months after the date of deposit of the third instrument of ratification or accession. Further information on the Convention 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
    Email: jenny.clift@uncitral.org