I have the honour to speak on behalf of Denmark, Finland Sweden and Norway.
First, let me extend our appreciation to the Chairman of the Commission`s forty-third session, Ricardo Sandoval López (Chile), for his presentation to our Committee.
We welcome the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on the work of its forty-third session. We reiterate our appreciation of the coordination efforts undertaken by the Commission in order to maintain close cooperation with other international organs and organisations active in the field of international trade law.
Norway has participated actively in the working groups established by the Commission. The working groups perform the substantive preparatory work on topics within the Commission’s work programme. As previously stated, the activities of these working groups are characterized by open and inspiring discussions among its members. We strongly believe that these characteristics contribute to the excellent results of the working groups. Thus we note with satisfaction that the thorough discussion on the working methods of UNCITRAL reached its conclusion during this year’s session. We consider the overwhelming agreement on and support for the underlying principles of the work of UNCITRAL, as a guarantee that the Commission’s activities within the field of international trade law will continue to produce successful outcomes in the future.
During this year’s session, the Commission finalised and adopted a revised version of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. Norway has strongly supported the work of UNCITRAL Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation), and has also participated actively in its deliberations. In our opinion, the revision will contribute to the continuing importance and influence of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. As an instrument available to the parties to an international dispute, the Arbitration Rules play a significant role in fostering harmonisation in this area.
One of the most successful instruments in the field of arbitration is the New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958. The Working Group took some initiatives to follow up the application of the Convention and ensure its harmonisation. Norway participated in this work by providing information on the application of the Convention and by commenting on draft instruments relating to its interpretation.
According to the Commission’s work programme, Working Group II will start discussing, in its October session, the question of transparency in treaty-based investor-State arbitration. Norway looks forward to participating in these discussions as we have taken part in the preparation of this work, providing the Secretariat with information on the current Norwegian regulation in this area.
Furthermore, we welcome the Commission’s finalisation and adoption of a draft supplement to the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions dealing with security rights in intellectual property. We note that the issue of registration of security rights in movable assets is next on the agenda of Working Group VI (Security Interests), and look forward to participating in the future deliberations on this topic.
We also welcome the Commission’s finalisation and adoption of part three of the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law on the treatment of enterprise groups in insolvency. As for the future work of Working Group V (Insolvency Law), we note that the Commission endorsed the recommendation by Working
Group V that work be initiated on two insolvency topics, namely 1) the responsibility and liability of directors and officers of an enterprise in insolvency and pre-insolvency cases and 2) to provide guidance on the interpretation and application of selected concepts of the UNCITRAL Model Insolvency Law relating to centre of main interests. Both topics are of current importance, and a greater degree of harmonization of national approaches would be beneficial with a view to delivering certainty and predictability.
We welcome the progress made by Working Group I (Procurement) on the revision of the 1994 Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services. We note that the Working Group is expected to complete its work during the next couple of sessions and to present a draft revised model law for finalisation and adoption by the Commission at its forty-fourth session, in 2011.
While some projects have reached their finalisation, other projects have just recently started. We note the decision to establish a new working group to undertake work in the field of online dispute resolution relating to cross-border e-commerce transactions, including business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions.
We extend our thanks to the Commission, its chair and its secretariat for their hard effort to further elaborate international trade law. We are committed to continue our participation in this work.