Coordination of Work on International Trade Law

Which organizations does UNCITRAL work with?

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.

These organizations include:

  • the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD);
  • the Hague Conference on Private International Law;
  • the Organization of American States (OAS);
  • the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD);
  • the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit);
  • the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO);
  • the World Bank;
  • the World Trade Organization (WTO);
  • the Comité Maritime International (CMI);
  • the Commercial Finance Association (CFA);
  • the International Bar Association (IBA);
  • the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  • and INSOL International (the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals).

Survey of activities

To assist the Commission in monitoring activities and developments in international trade law, the secretariat prepares a general survey of the activities of other organizations related to international trade law (including technical assistance to international trade law reform), as well as in-depth reports on the activities of organizations on particular international trade law topics.

To facilitate the preparation of this paper, UNCITRAL welcomes information on projects and activities from organizations active in the international trade law field.

International organizations active in the field of international trade law have the opportunity, at annual sessions of UNCITRAL, to present reports (formal or informal) on their activities.

Joint projects

As a further part of this coordination function, UNCITRAL undertakes work, such as studies and seminars, in conjunction with other international organizations. Examples include a project with Committee D of the International Bar Association to monitor the implementation, in national laws, of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958); and a series of multinational judicial colloquia on cross-border insolvency law in conjunction with INSOL International.

Texts recommended by UNCITRAL

When appropriate, UNCITRAL recommends the use or adoption of international trade law-related instruments developed by other organizations.

For example, UNCITRAL has encouraged ratification of the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (Geneva, 1961) and recommended the use of a number of texts prepared by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) including:

  • Incoterms
  • the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits
  • the Rules on International Standby Practices (ISP98)
  • the Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees
  • the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts 
  • the HccH Principles on Choice of Law in International Commercial Contracts

Texts endorsed by UNCITRAL

UNCITRAL Texts endorsed by other organizations

A number of other organizations have recommended and endorsed the adoption of UNCITRAL texts.

For example:

  • 2004 - UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law

 Endorsement by International Bar Association (IBA)

  • 1995 - United Nations Convention on Independent Guarantees and Stand-by Letters of Credit

 Endorsement by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

  • 1978 - United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea - the "Hamburg Rules"

Endorsed by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Endorsed by Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee
Endorsed by the Organization of American States