Tuesday, September 1, 2015

UNCITRAL & International Settlements

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was established by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2205 in 1966 to promote the progressive harmonization and unification of international trade law. Lack of framework for the enforcement of settlement agreements is why international parties are often reluctant to resort to mediation, notwithstanding its effectiveness as a method of ADR. In order to promote mediation and solidify the enforceability of settlement agreements, efforts by UNCITRAL are underway to find a solution. Last summer, during a session of UNCITRAL that took place in New York, a proposal to undertake work on the preparation of a convention on the enforceability of international commercial settlement agreements reached through mediation/conciliation was put forward to UNCITRAL by the United States. Accordingly, Working Group II (WGII)-- one of six working groups established by UNCITRAL, specifically relating to arbitration and conciliation-- was assigned to perform the substantive preparatory work. This group was requested to consider the proposal and report back to UNCITRAL on the feasibility and possible form of work in that area. During a recent session of UNCITRAL that took place in Vienna, WGII reported to UNCITRAL a summary of its findings, its concerns and recommendations. UNCITRAL approved giving WGII a mandate to work on the topic of enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from international commercial conciliation. Reportedly, the mandate given by UNCITRAL to the WGII is broad enough to include different possible forms of work, namely: (i) a guidance text, (ii) a model legislative provisions, and perhaps most significantly, (iii) a convention. It will be interesting to see what develops as a result of this important work. See more here-- http://bit.ly/1Xbd9no and http://www.uncitral.org/uncitral/en/commission/working_groups/2Arbitration.html