Technical Assistance to Law Reform

A wide range of activities

Technical activities undertaken by UNCITRAL include the following examples:

  • organizing briefing missions and seminars and participating in conferences to familiarize participants with UNCITRAL texts and their use;
  • 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;
  • assisting with the drafting of national legislation to implement UNCITRAL texts;
  • assisting international development agencies, such as the World Bank, to use UNCITRAL texts in their law reform activities and projects;
  • 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;
  • and organizing group training activities to facilitate the implementation and interpretation of modern commercial legislation based on UNCITRAL texts by judiciaries and legal practitioners.

UNCITRAL also prepares teaching and other technical materials, such as the Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts system, and analytical digests of case law on specific texts, which may be useful in seminars and briefing missions and in the context of university teaching. 

Who can request assistance?

Technical assistance has been provided by UNCITRAL to:

  • officials and legislators of individual countries,
  • as well as through regional and international organizations and initiatives.

Requests for technical assistance traditionally have been received from:

  • governments,
  • permanent missions to the United Nations,
  • chambers of commerce, arbitration centres
  • and through regional and international organizations.

Once the UNCITRAL Secretariat receives a request for technical assistance, it will liaise with the requesting country or organization to identify the goals of the technical assistance and consider the nature of the assistance required and the manner in which it can best be provided.

Where the request is from a country, an essential part of that consideration is the provision of information on the country's commercial legal system, including current law reform programs and initiatives and, in particular, those related to UNCITRAL texts.

Technical assistance is then organized in consultation with the requesting country or organization to ensure the identified goals are met.

A summary of the technical assistance activities conducted each year is included in the annual report of UNCITRAL.

Appeal for assistance to the technical assistance programme

The demand for UNCITRAL technical assistance has grown dramatically in recent years and because the regular budget does not include funds for such activities, they can only be conducted if funds can be obtained from other sources.

UNCITRAL has established a Trust Fund to enable it to respond to these requests, and the Commission and the General Assembly have made repeated appeals for contributions. The Commission welcomes the financial support of States, organizations, and individuals.

Contributions may be made for general technical assistance activities or for specific projects. Contributions, making specific reference to the "Trust Fund for UNCITRAL Symposia", may be made to:

United Nations General Trust Fund
JP Morgan Chase Bank
International Agencies Banking
1166 Avenue of the Americas, 17 th floor
New York, NY 10036-2708
Account no. 485001969