Member States of the Commission are elected. All other States that are not members of the Commission, as well as interested international organizations, are invited to attend sessions of the Commission and its working groups as observers. Observers are invited to participate in discussions in the Commission and its working groups without the right to vote.
Participation in UNCITRAL as a either a member or observer State entails no further obligations other than those already assumed by the State as a member State of the United Nations.
Working Groups undertake the substantive preparatory work on topics on UNCITRAL's work programme. Membership of working groups currently includes all States members of UNCITRAL. A Working Group typically meets twice a year, holding a spring session in New York and a fall session in Vienna.
UNCITRAL typically takes decisions by consensus, rather than by voting. The basis of consensus is that efforts are made to address all concerns raised so that the final text is acceptable to all.