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Activities of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations

United Nations Legal Counsel opens 51st session of UNCITRAL


20 to 22 June 2018

Under the chairmanship of Professor Dr. Beate Czerwenka of Germany, UNCITRAL commenced the first week of its session with the finalization of a draft convention on mediation and adoption of a corresponding Model Law. Mediation is, indeed, becoming important in a number of jurisdictions where it constitutes a credible alternative to litigation, encouraged by the courts, or even a mandatory form of settling certain types of disputes. In his opening speech on 25 June, the Legal Counsel highlighted the rich and diverse topics on the agenda of the current session. He expressed the hope that, once adopted, the Convention on Mediation will become the corner stone of the international mediation framework and have the same success as the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958, New York Convention).

Having finalized the texts on mediation, the Commission took up its work on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises MSMEs), adopting a legislative guide on key principles of a business registry. This guide is the first chapter of a larger and more ambitious project aimed at developing texts to promote an enabling legal environment for the operation of MSMEs. .

The United Nations Legal Counsel speaks at a reception at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

The United Nations Legal Counsel speaks at a reception at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

On 28 June 2018, Mr. Serpa Soares also delivered an address at the occasion of UNCITRAL’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the New York Convention. This event provided an opportunity for delegations to interact with panellists to discuss the contribution of UNCITRAL’s mandate to the successful development of the international arbitration framework, with the New York Convention as the foundational instrument. The celebration was attended by delegates and around 300 invitees. The Legal Counsel later welcomed all participants at a cocktail reception hosted at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

New York Convention film