Statement by Gabriel Swiney, Attorney Adviser, U.S. Department of State, on Agenda Item 77: Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the Work of its Forty-third Session, in the Sixth Committee

Gabriel Swiney, Attorney Adviser, U.S. Department of State
New York, NY
October 11, 2010


Thank you, Madame Chairperson.

The United States wishes to thank the Secretary and the other members of the UNCITRAL Secretariat for their dedication, hard work, and achievements, as outlined in the Report of the Commission’s work at its 43rd Plenary Session. The United States remains a strong supporter of UNCITRAL and its programs.

The 43rd Session was a highly productive meeting. Working efficiently on the basis of substantial preparatory efforts by Working Groups II, V and VI, the Commission adopted three final texts.

We are pleased to note the adoption of revisions to the 1976 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, which are in wide use internationally. The 2010 Arbitration Rules, which became effective on August 15, incorporate important updates reflecting current arbitration practice, and should promote even greater use of the UNCITRAL Rules.

We also welcome the adoption of a supplement to the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions concerning security rights in intellectual property, a complex area of increasing importance in commercial transactions. That work involved effective coordination with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

There was also important progress made in the area of cross-border insolvency, with the adoption of part III of the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law on the treatment of enterprise groups in insolvency. The global economic problems of the past couple of years have highlighted the importance of effective cross-border cooperation in this area.

The Plenary Session noted progress in Working Group I in revising the 1994 UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement, and the United States hopes that those revisions and the accompanying Guide to Enactment can be finalized and adopted at the 44th Session next summer.

Madame Chairperson, we are pleased that agreement was reached at the Plenary Session on the issue of UNCITRAL rules of procedure and working methods, which have evolved over more than 30 years of practice. This will permit UNCITRAL to maintain its historic role as one of the UN’s most effective bodies.

In terms of future work, the United States supports the establishment of a new working group to consider online dispute resolution (ODR), which has great potential to assist the growing number of consumers who make purchases via the Internet. The United States also strongly supports the work to be undertaken in other working groups: consideration of enhanced transparency in treaty-based investor-State arbitration, preparation of model regulations for registration of security rights in movable assets, and development of additional mechanisms to promote cooperation on cross-border insolvency.

We welcome the colloquium early next year on electronic commerce, which is expected to produce the outlines of future work involving a combination of transferability of rights and single windows for the importation of goods. We also look forward to the colloquium early next year on microfinance.

Madame Chairperson, we would also like to mention the special attention given at the 43rd Session to the role of UNCITRAL in promoting the rule of law. We believe that UNCITRAL’s work to harmonize commercial law can make an important contribution to broader UN rule of law efforts.

We look forward to active engagement in the work of UNCITRAL this year.

Thank you.


PRN: 2010/225