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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

5. The United Nations Specialized Agencies

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

101. In accordance with resolution No. 214, adopted by the Board of Governors on 10 September 1964, the Executive Directors of the IBRD formulated the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States. The submission of the Convention to member Governments of the Bank was approved by the Executive Directors on 18 March 1965. Although investment disputes are generally settled through judicial, arbitral or other procedures available under the laws of the country in which the investment was made, experience has shown that in many instances international machinery for the settlement of investment disputes is considered preferable by both States and investors. The Convention therefore provides, inter alia, for the establishment of an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes which will "provide facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes between Contracting States and nationals of other Contracting States" (article 1 (2)). The Centre, while not itself engaging in conciliation or arbitration, will provide facilities for the Conciliation Commission and Arbitral Tribunal which are to be instituted in accordance with the Convention. The organs of the Centre are the Administrative Council, composed of one representative of each contracting State, and the secretariat. The Centre is required to maintain a Panel of Conciliators and a Panel of Arbitrators, from which the parties to a dispute may select the members of the Commission or Tribunal to which the dispute is to be submitted. The jurisdiction of the Centre in disputes is dependent upon the written consent of the parties thereto and extends to "any legal dispute arising directly out of an investment" (article 25 (1)) between a contracting State or aconstituent subdivision of a contracting State and a national of another contracting State, either a natural or juridical person. Contracting States may, if they so desire, notify the Centre in advance as to the classes of disputes which they would, or would not, consider submitting to the jurisdiction of the Centre (article 25 (4)). Article 53 provides that arbitral awards under the Convention are binding upon the parties and are not subject to any appeal or any other remedy except those stipulated in the Convention. Those remedies are revision (article 51) and annulment (article 52). Parties may also request that the Tribunal make a supplementary award or may request an interpretation of an award.

102. The Convention is open for signature to the States members of IBRD as well as to any State party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice which the Administrative Council shall have invited to sign the Convention, and is subject to ratification acceptance or approval by each signatory State. It will enter into force thirty days after the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification acceptance or approval. Thus far it has been signed by forty-four States and ratified by the Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Nigeria, Tunisia, Uganda and the United States of America.

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