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Origin, Mandate and Composition of UNCITRAL

Origin

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was established by the General Assembly in 1966 ( Resolution 2205(XXI) of 17 December 1966). In establishing the Commission, the General Assembly recognized that disparities in national laws governing international trade created obstacles to the flow of trade, and it regarded the Commission as the vehicle by which the United Nations could play a more active role in reducing or removing these obstacles.

Archival documents predating the establishment of UNCITRAL

Mandate

The General Assembly gave the Commission the general mandate to further the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade. The Commission has since come to be the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.

Composition

The Commission is composed of sixty member States elected by the General Assembly. Membership is structured so as to be representative of the world's various geographic regions and its principal economic and legal systems. Members of the Commission are elected for terms of six years, the terms of half the members expiring every three years.

As from 27 June 2016, the members of UNCITRAL, and the years when their memberships expire, are:

Argentina 2022
Armenia 2019
Australia 2022
Austria 2022
Belarus 2022
Brazil 2022
Bulgaria 2019
Burundi 2022
Cameroon 2019
Canada 2019
Chile 2022
China 2019
Colombia 2022
Côte d'Ivoire 2019
Czech Republic 2022
Denmark 2019
Ecuador 2019
El Salvador 2019
France 2019
Germany 2019
Greece 2019
Honduras 2019
Hungary 2019
India 2022
Indonesia 2019
Iran (Islamic Republic of) 2022
Israel 2022
Italy 2022
Japan 2019
Kenya 2022
Kuwait 2019
Lebanon 2022
Lesotho 2022
Liberia 2019
Libya 2022
Malaysia 2019
Mauritania 2019
Mauritius 2022
Mexico 2019
Namibia 2019
Nigeria 2022
Pakistan 2022
Panama 2019
Philippines 2022
Poland 2022
Republic of Korea 2019
Romania 2022
Russian Federation 2019
Sierra Leone 2019
Singapore 2019
Spain 2022
Sri Lanka 2022
Switzerland 2019
Thailand 2022
Turkey 2022
Uganda 2022
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2019
United States of America 2022
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 2022
Zambia 2019

Member States History

General Assembly elects new UNCITRAL members (Press release)

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