International trade law

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) - was established in 1966. The establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1994 strengthened the legal enforceability of trade law by means of dispute settlement.

Work and structure of UNCITRAL

The Commission on International Trade Law is the core legal body of the United Nations. Its main areas of work are

  • the development of conventions, standards and legal guidelines.
  • the harmonization and unification of international trade law.

The Member States of the Commission are elected by the General Assembly. They represent various geographic regions as well as economic and legal systems. The Commission holds an annual session alternating between New York and Geneva. 

For more information on the WTO, see DagDok: WTO.

More on UN and International trade law

UNCITRAL documents are issued under the symbols: 

A/ General Assembly

-/CN.9 Commission no. 9 = UNCITRAL

-/sequential number

Ex. A/CN.9/564 General Assembly, Commission no. 9, document 564

  • Summary records of meetings are issued as A/CN.9.meeting number.
  • UNCITRAL. Background information and news, full text documents and reports, ratification information, abstracts of case law, summary records of meetings from 1995 onwards and the Yearbook online. 
  • UNCITRAL Yearbook is a compilation of the annual reports and other essential studies and reports, records of meetings and conventions.
  • UNICTRAL submits an Annual report to the General Assembly. It is issued in the series General AssemblyOfficial Records asSupplement No. 17.
  • Bibliography of Recent Writings related to the Work of UNCITRAL is issued as part of the Yearbook. An abridged version is posted online from 1968 and onwards. 
  • CLOUT - Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts is a database for court decisions and arbitration awards relevant to the conventions and law of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.
  • WTO resources

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.
Last modified: 2021-12-03