Frequently Asked Questions

Origin, Mandate and Composition of UNCITRAL

  • What is the mandate of UNCITRAL?
  • What does UNCITRAL mean by the "harmonization" and "unification" of the law of international trade?
  • Who participates in the drafting of UNCITRAL texts?
  • How many States are members of the Commission?
  • Are delegates provided financial assistance for travel and accommodation?
  • Is there financial assistance for travel and accommodation for delegates of Working Group III?
  • What are the regional groups represented within the Commission?
  • How are the interests of developing countries taken into consideration by UNCITRAL?
  • Is UNCITRAL part of the World Trade Organization (WTO)?

Methods of Work

  • What is the difference between a member State and an observer State?
  • Are there other observers in UNCITRAL?
  • What are criteria and procedures for inviting non-governmental organizations (NGOs)?
  • Can individuals take part in sessions?
  • How are UNCITRAL materials made publicly available?

UNCITRAL and Public Law Issues

  • Does participation in UNCITRAL diminish state sovereignty?
  • Does the work of UNCITRAL affect consumer protection legislation?
  • Does the work of UNCITRAL take environmental issues into account?

Vacancies and Internships

  • How is it possible to work for UNCITRAL Secretariat?
  • Does UNCITRAL offer scholarships or other financial assistance to students and scholars?

UNCITRAL and Private Disputes / Litigation

  • Does UNCITRAL offer legal advice in specific disputes, administer arbitrations or recommend legal practitioners?
  • What does "arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules" mean?
  • I am involved in a dispute with a company and our contract provides for arbitration pursuant to the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Does UNCITRAL provide assistance in the dispute?
  • Who may use the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules?
  • Can UNCITRAL provide an authoritative interpretation of domestic law?
  • What is the difference between the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985) and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules?


  • What is the difference in an UNCITRAL legislative text and an UNCITRAL non-legislative text?
  • What is the difference between a model law and a convention?
  • Are there "signatories" to Model Laws?
  • State "***" is listed under the "Status of Conventions and Enactments of UNCITRAL Model Laws" as having signed a particular UNCITRAL Convention. Does that mean that the Convention applies to that State?
  • How do I determine if a State is a party to a Convention? How do I determine if a State has enacted an UNCITRAL Model Law?
  • What is the copyright policy of UNCITRAL concerning the reproduction and distribution of UNCITRAL texts?

The UNCITRAL Website

  • My computer will not display some of the documents contained on the UNCITRAL website. What's wrong?
  • Are all UNCITRAL texts available on the UNCITRAL website?
  • Are the texts posted on the UNCITRAL website in their final version?