Mr Chairman, I have the honour to speak on behalf of the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway. Let me first of all extend our gratitude to the Chairman of the Commission’s forty-first session, Mr Rafael Illescas Ortiz, for his very interesting presentation provided to our Committee.
The Nordic countries welcome the reports of UNCITRAL on the work of its fortieth and forty-first sessions. Our countries highly appreciate the coordination by the Commission in order to maintain close cooperation with other international organs and organizations active in the field of international trade law. In particular we appreciate the recent efforts to clarify the relationship between the various legal texts in the area of security interests adopted by several organisations, which operate within this field of law.
Norway has actively participated in the working groups established by the Commission, which perform the substantive preparatory work on topics within the Commission's programme of work. Based on our experience so far, we have the clear impression that the activities of these working groups are characterized by open and inspiring discussions among its members. We believe that these characteristics of the working groups contribute to the excellent results of these organs.
During this year's session, the Commission obtained significant results within the field of transport law. The draft Convention on contracts for the international carriage of goods wholly or partly by sea was agreed upon. We are delighted that many years of hard work have been successfully concluded.
Important steps forward have again been taken by Working Group I (Procurement) in the current revision of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services with Guide to Enactment. Ensuring that the Model Law and its Guide reflect new practices, in particular those resulting from the use of electronic communications in public procurement, continues to be an important task for this group.
Although widely recognized and perceived as a very successful text, the UNCITRAL rules on arbitration have not been amended since their adoption in 1976. The ongoing work of Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation) to revise the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules of 1976 is strongly supported by the Nordic countries, and we are participating actively in this work. As we understand it, a draft revised text will be submitted to the Commission in June 2009, and we look forward to the future deliberations of the Commission.
As for the activities of Working Group V (Insolvency Law), we welcome the progress made by this group with regard to an analysis of the treatment of corporate groups in insolvency. We look forward to further discussions on this important issue. Furthermore, we note the work made by the Secretariat to compile practical experience of negotiations and the use of cross-border insolvency agreements. It is our understanding that the compilation will be presented as a working paper to Working Group V on its forthcoming session. We look forward to the future discussions of the Working Group on possible recommendations to the Commission on this particular subject.
During its fortieth session the Commission also made significant progress in the field of secured transactions. The Commission finalized and adopted the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions based on the understanding that the annex to the Guide, addressing security rights in intellectual property, would subsequently be prepared. We note with satisfaction the progress made on the Annex to the Legislative Guide.
The Nordic countries also take due note of the ongoing discussion on the working methods of UNCITRAL and await the draft reference document, intended for use by chairpersons, delegates and observers as well as the Secretariat.
The Secretary of UNCITRAL, Mr Jernej Sekolec, retired recently. We would once more like to express our gratitude to Mr Sekolec for his invaluable contribution to the organisation. Furthermore, we wish every success to Mr Renaud Sorieul, the new Secretary of UNCITRAL.
The Nordic countries extend our thanks to the Commission and its secretariat for the excellent results obtained and we are eagerly looking forward to continuing our participation in the further elaboration of international trade law.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.