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Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade:
Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1966

Introduction

I. The law of international trade

A. Concept of "law of international trade"

B. Legal techniques used to reduce conflicts and divergencies

1. Choice of Law Rules

2. Harmonization and Unification of Substantive Rules

C. Development of the law of international trade

1. Similarity

2. Application

3. Formulation

II. Survey of the work in the field of harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Inter-governmental organizations

1. The International Institute for the Unification of Private Law

2. The Hague Conference on Private International Law

3. The League of Nations

(a) The Geneva Conventions on the unification of the law relating to bills of exchange (1930) and to cheques (1931)

(b) The Geneva Protocol on Arbitration Clauses of 1923 and the Geneva Convention on the Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1927

4. The United Nations

(a) The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958

(b) Industrial property legislation

(c) United Nations regional economic commissions

(i) Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)
a. The ECE General Conditions of Sale and Standard Forms of Contract
b. European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration
(ii) Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE)
(iii) Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA)
(iv) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

(d) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

(e) Centre for Industrial Development

5. The United Nations Specialized Agencies

(a) International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

(b) Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO)

(c) The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

6. United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI)

B. Regional inter-governmental organizations and groupings

1. The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA)*

2. The European Economic Community (EEC)

3. The European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

4. The Latin American Countries

(a) Unification of conflict rules

(b) International commercial arbitration

(d) Other activities

5. The Council of Europe

6. The Benelux Countries

7. The Nordic Council

8. The Organization of African Unity (OAU)

9. The Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee

C. Non-governmental organizations

1. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

(a) The Court of Arbitration

(b) Incoterms 1953

(c) Uniform customs and practice for documentary credits

2. The International Maritime Committee (IMC)

3. The International Association of Legal Science

4. The International Law Association (ILA)

5. The Institute of International Law

D. Summary: main areas of harmonization and unification

III. Methods, approaches and topics suitable for the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Methods

B. Approaches

C. Suitable topics

IV. Role of the United Nations in the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Progress and shortcomings of the work in the field of harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

B. Desirable action to remedy the existing shortcomings

C. Role of the United Nations

1. Is the Unification and Harmonization of the Law of International Trade an Appropriate Subject for United Nations Action?

2. Would a United Nations Participation in this Activity Unnecessarily Duplicate the Work of Existing Agencies and Reduce or Abolish their Usefulness?

3. Would the United Nations be in a Position to Make a Significant Contribution to Furthering Unification on A World-Wide Scale or Otherwise?

4. Should the Functions of the United Nations be Confined to Co-Ordination or Should they Also Encompass Formulation?

5. Is There a Realistic Chance of Success or is the Task too Diffficult for Tangible Results?

D. Establishment of a United Nations Commission on International Trade Law

E. Financial implications of the establishment of a United Nations commission on international trade law

Endnotes

Endnotes

Concordance (wordlist)

Manifest (alternative outputs)

Metadata

Progressive Development of the Law of International Trade: Report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, 1966

United Nations (UN)

copy @ Lex Mercatoria

II. Survey of the work in the field of harmonization and unification of the law of international trade

A. Inter-governmental organizations

4. The United Nations

(b) Industrial property legislation

61. Since 1961 the United Nations General Assembly has had before it the problem of the role of industrial property legislation in facilitating the transfer of patented and unpatented technological and managerial know-how to developing countries. At its sixteenth session, the General Assembly adopted resolution 1713 (XVI) on the role of patents in the transfer of technology to underdeveloped countries, in which it requested the Secretary-General to study the issues involved, including specifically, the effects of patents on the economy of developing countries; patent legislation in selected developed and developing countries; and the characteristics of the patent legislation of developing countries in the light of economic development objectives.

62. The study, which was prepared in the Fiscal and Financial Branch of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in response to that resolution,  31  provided a comprehensive review of the major characteristics of national patent laws and the international patent system as well as a thorough analysis of the economic implications of the introduction of patent legislation in developing countries. The study emphasized, inter alia, that properly adapted patent legislation was essential if the patent system was to be beneficial to economic development and advancement of industry in developing countries.

63. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in recommendation A.IV.26 of 15 June 1964 specifically recommended that "competent international bodies, including United Nations bodies and the Bureau of the International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property, should explore possibilities for adaptation of legislation concerning the transfer of industrial technology to developing countries ...". A similar position was taken by the Economic and Social Council in resolution 1013 (XXXVII), which requested "the Secretary-General to explore possibilities for adaptation of legislation concerning the transfer of industrial technology to developing countries, generally and in co-operation with the competent international bodies, including United Nations bodies and the Bureau of the International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property".

64. On this basis representatives of the Secretary-General co-operate with the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI) in the preparation of the Bureaux's Draft Model Laws in this field (see paras. 108-111 below). The first of these, the Model Law for Developing Countries on Inventions,  32  incorporates most of the Secretary-General's substantive recommendations regarding the major problem areas of compulsory licensing and working of patents, government review of international licence agreements, and the administration of industrial property legislation.  33 


 31. The Role of Patents in the Transfer of Technology to Developing Countries (United Nations publication, Sales No.: 65.11.B.I).

 32. BIRPI publication 801 (E), Geneva, 1965.

 33. See note by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (E/4078, annex A).

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