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International Trade Law : Research Guide

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was created by the UN General Assembly in 1966 with the mandate of reducing obstacles to international trade. The General Assembly understood that existing national trade laws were disparate and recognized that there needed to be an international commission whose purpose is to work toward a more unified concept of international trade law. One of UNCITRAL's missions is the creation of model laws in areas of international trade, as a means of fostering uniformity in trade laws, with the intent that the participating nations will adopt the laws. The Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration is one example of the work of UNCITRAL.

UNCITRAL is composed of representatives from the sixty member states. Previously, the membership was twenty-five nations, but as June 14, 2004, it increased to the current sixty. Each member is elected by the General Assembly for a six-year term. Membership of UNCITRAL is structured to be representative of geographic regions, economic systems and legal systems.

To see more background and reference works available at Diamond Law Library, including older editions, please try these searches on Pegasus: 

You can find a selected list of publications below.

Introductory Resources

UNCITRAL Model Rules

Case Law Resources

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964. Its purpose was to promote and encourage international trade and economic development in developing countries. It was also designed to create policies and principles on international trade which would further the positions of developing nations. The movement toward such a trade body began following World War II and culminated in the Conference on Problems of Developing Countries held in Cairo in 1962. Representatives from Asian, African and Latin American countries met and in the Cairo Declaration advocated for the creation of a conference to explore and expand the trade relations between developing and developed nations. Eastern European countries quickly supported the Cairo Declaration's call for a conference, while economically developed countries were reluctant to support such a goal. The United Nations Economic and Social Council decided in August 1962 to hold the conference and following much debate, UNCTAD came into existence. Since it had been determined that there is significant linkage between international trade and development within a country, it followed that there should be an international body devoted to expanding trade opportunities for developing nations.

To see more background and reference works available at Diamond Law Library, including older editions, please try these searches on Pegasus: 

You can find a selected list of publications below.

UNCTAD Founding Documents

Introductory & Historical Resources

Statistical Resources