Technical Assistance and Coordination

In an increasingly economically interdependent world, the importance of an improved legal framework for the facilitation of international trade and investment is widely acknowledged. UNCITRAL plays an important role in developing that framework because of its mandate to prepare and promote the use and adoption of legislative and non-legislative instruments in a number of key areas.
These instruments are negotiated through an international process involving a variety of participants. UNCITRAL membership is structured so as to be representative of different legal traditions and levels of economic development. As a result of this process, the UNCITRAL texts are widely accepted as offering solutions appropriate to many different countries at different stages of economic development.

Integration with United Nations operations

With the aim of better integrating UNCITRAL work with the United Nations operations on development, conflict-prevention and post-conflict-reconstruction and in other appropriate contexts, UNCITRAL endorsed the Guidance Note on Strengthening United Nations Support to States, Upon Their Request, to Implement Sound Commercial Law Reforms. The General Assembly, in its resolution 71/135 , paragraph 8 (e), requested the Secretary-General to circulate the Guidance Note as broadly as possible to its intended users.

While endorsing the Guidance Note, the Commission agreed that illustrative indicators relevant in the assessment of the state of the commercial law framework and the need for commercial law reforms in a particular country should be used at working level, as an internal document of the UNCITRAL secretariat, when needed in the negotiation of specific projects with relevant stakeholders, donors and possible partners of UNCITRAL in technical cooperation and assistance projects.

Technical Assistance to Law Reform

Technical activities undertaken by UNCITRAL include the following examples:

  1. organizing briefing missions and seminars and participating in conferences to familiarize participants with UNCITRAL texts and their use;
  2. undertaking law reform assessments to assist governments, legislative organs and other authorities in developing and other countries to review existing legislation and assess their needs for law reform in the commercial field;
  3. assisting with the drafting of national legislation to implement UNCITRAL texts;
  4. assisting international development agencies, such as the World Bank, to use UNCITRAL texts in their law reform activities and projects;
  5. providing advice and assistance to international and other organizations, such as professional associations, organizations of attorneys, chambers of commerce and arbitration centres, on the use of UNCITRAL texts;
  6. and organizing group training activities to facilitate the implementation and interpretation of modern commercial legislation based on UNCITRAL texts by judiciaries and legal practitioners.

Coordination of Work on International Trade Law

To implement its mandate, UNCITRAL maintains close links with international and regional organizations, both inter-governmental and non-governmental, that are active participants in the work programme of UNCITRAL and in the field of international trade law to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information. It is represented, through its secretariat, at meetings of those organizations and actively follows and participates in their work where it relates to topics on UNCITRAL's work programme.

UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific

The main objectives of the Regional Centre are to (a) enhance international trade and development in the Asia-Pacific region by promoting certainty in international commercial transactions through the dissemination of international trade norms and standards, in particular, those elaborated by UNCITRAL; (b) provide bilateral and multilateral technical assistance to States with respect to the adoption and uniform interpretation of UNCITRAL texts through workshops and seminars; (c) engage in coordination activities with international and regional organizations active in trade law reform projects in the region; and (d) function as a channel of communication between States in the region and UNCITRAL.