India is hosting the first UNCITRAL South Asia Conference

India hosted the first South Asia Conference of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) from September 14 to 16.

The conference was jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNCITRAL and the organization’s National Coordinating Committee for India. Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Attorney General R Venkataramani were present at the event.

The three-day conference is a continuation of the conference held in New Delhi in 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of UNCITRAL, said a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs. The press release added that the conference aimed to promote India’s engagement with UNCITRAL and promote interaction between UNCITRAL, judiciary, bureaucracy, academia and legal community.

According to the organization’s website, UNCITRAL is described as “the principal legal entity within the United Nations system dedicated to international trade law.” “UNCITRAL is a legal body with universal membership that has specialized in commercial law reform worldwide for over 50 years. UNCITRAL’s mission is to modernize and harmonize the rules governing international business,” the organization’s website says.

MoS Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh mentioned that India has a unique relationship with UNCITRAL and has been a member of UNCITRAL since its inception as one of the first 29 member states. He also mentioned the diversity of the region and the economic progress of the South Asian region, the release said.

Attorney General Venkataramani spoke of the need for a statement on global investment law.

The conference’s comprehensive program included sessions with global and regional experts who provided insights on a wide range of topics such as the digital economy, MSMEs and access to credit, insolvency, investor-state dispute settlement reform, international commercial arbitration and mediation.

Highlights of the conference included the high-level roundtable on regional perspectives on UNCITRAL and the final day focused on developments in alternative dispute resolution, including a session in which panelists included judges from four Supreme Courts from the various regions of the country and who discussed how India can become an arbitration hub, the MEA press release said.

A focus of the conference was on promoting India as a hub for international arbitration.

Sybil Alvarez

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