12 October 2009
Statement by Mr. Hossein Sadat Meydani
Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran before the Sixth Committee
on agenda item 79: “Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
on the work of its forty-second session”
(New York, 12 October 2009)
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
My Delegation would like to begin by congratulating the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on its successful work in the forty-second session which was held from 29 June through 17 July 2009 in Vienna. We appreciate the valuable efforts of the members of the bureau of the 42nd session as well as the Secretariat in well organizing the event.
The Islamic Republic of Iran acknowledges the contributions of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, as the core legal body within the United Nations system in the field of international trade law with a mandate to further the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade, and bearing in mind the interests of all peoples, in particular those of developing countries, in the extensive development of international trade.
My delegation recognizes the importance of the initiatives taken by the UNCITRAL to provide technical assistance to developing countries, and calls upon the Commission and its Secretariat to intensify efforts in this regard. Particular attention should be made to the needs of developing countries with a view to upgrade their national legal capacities so that they would be bale to benefit from the advances in communication technologies to foster trade and commercial interactions.
The report of the Commission on its forty-second session contained in document A/64/17 gives a comprehensive overview of the ongoing works of the Commission and of the topics under discussion in different Working Groups, and deserves a thorough deliberation. I would like to highlight a few points at this juncture.
My delegation expresses its satisfaction with the work accomplished by the Working Group on Arbitration. Based on the mandate given to it by the Commission at its thirty-ninth session, in 2006, this Working Group shall continue to revise the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in a manner not to alter the structure of the text, its spirit or its drafting style, and to retain the flexible character of its provisions rather than make it more complex. This is all the more important since the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules has been used as a model by large number of countries to enact or modernize their domestic legislations. We welcome the Commission’s decision, as reflected in paragraph 293 of the report, that the existing mechanism on appointing authorities, as designed under the 1976 version of the Rules, should not be changed. We are not in favor of the inclusion of the new provision on the “liability of arbitrators” as it has been drafted and proposed (in document A/CN.9/WG.II/WP.151/Add.1), since it grants some kind of absolute immunity to the arbitrators, and even others such as experts, instead of establishing a mechanism for the accountability of arbitrators; this may inevitably result in impunity.
Concerning the future work in the field of settlement of commercial disputes, we endorse the decision of the Commission at its forty-first session in 2008, not to include specific provisions on treaty-based arbitration in the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. We deem the Commission’s decision advisable that this issue should be dealt with only after completion of the current revision of the UNCITRAL Arbitration rules. After all, the question arises as if this matter is the only issue which should be discussed at a later stage or there are some other more important issues which need close consideration by the Working Group.
On the draft UNCITRAL Model Law on Public Procurement and the adoption of its chapter I, it is important that the new version of 1994 Model Law reflects new procurement techniques, especially those resulting from the use of electronic communications. However, we are of the view that the future work in this field should concentrate on modalities which could be feasible in in most countries, including the developing countries, and not only in the major great economic powers.
As regards the “Working methods of the UNCITRAL”, it is imperative to find ways to ensure more effective participation of the developing countries in the working groups and in overall process of harmonization and unification of international trade law. The UNCITRAL and its Secretariat are encouraged to reflect on practical ways to facilitate the participation of the representatives of all legal systems in its activities. Furthermore, in preparation of notes and documents to be discussed and evaluated by the Commission and its working groups, relevant legislations as well as pertinent practices of the developing countries should be duly taken into consideration.
And finally on the Rules of Procedure of the Commission I should note the fact that the UNCITRAL is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly. Therefore, it is necessary that the former, in discharging its tasks, be in line and consistent with the latter, and from institutional point of view the UNCITRAL should respect those areas which generally falls within the purview of the General Assembly.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.