Statement by Mr. Abdul Hameed, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the United Nations in the Sixth Committee on agenda item 79: Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its forty-fourth (New York, 10 October 2011)

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation takes this opportunity to appreciate the work done for the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on its forty-fourth session contained in document A/66/17. Pakistan has been a member of the Commission and its Working Groups over the years and acknowledges efforts made by Member States and Secretariat for productive negotiations and their positive results in the harmonization of international trade law.

Pakistan delegation recognizes the hard work that went into the preparation of revised Model Law on Public Procurement. The revised Model Law would go a long way in promoting economy, efficiency, integrity, fairness, and transparency in the procurement process. However, we support the point made in the report that social and economic conditions of developing countries must be kept in view for the preparation of a Guide to Enactment to the revised Model Law. In many developing countries, public procurement is aimed not only at the promotion of trade but is also considered an important course of action for capacity building and promotion of local small and medium sized enterprises. In this background, we should expect that the Guide to Enactment to the revised Model Law would be changed in light of above realities before its implementation in developing countries.

Mr. Chairman,

We appreciate the performance of the Working Group II in the development of a legal standard on transparency in treaty-based investor-state arbitration. The issue of submission by amicus curiae, particularly the intervention in the arbitration by a non-disputing State party to the investment treaty, needs more discussion and careful consideration. Pakistan delegation is of the view that confidentiality is an important enough subject in commercial arbitration to be part of the future task of the Working Group.

Pakistan considers that investment flows particularly in non-financial sectors play an important role in ensuring development of states. The idea of utilizing alternative methods like mediation and conciliation for managing investor-state disputes holds a promise of flexibility, simplicity and long term relationships among parties. The cooperation between UNCTAD and UNCITRAL for the creation of awareness among states, investors, and legal practitioners for the availability of mediation and conciliation as an option for investor-state dispute resolution is both desirable and doable.

Mr. Chairman,

We have noted the progress made in the online dispute resolution (ODR) relating to cross-border electronic transactions in working group III. We support the decision of the Commission that even if the working group ventures the elaboration of possible rules for consumer to consumer relationships, these should not replace consumer protection laws. It is a good idea to ponder the impact of working groupís debate on consumer protection.

Pakistan views the micro finance as one of important tools for poverty reduction as it facilitates the access of poor to financial services. The need of coherent legal and regulatory measures which could act as global standards for the guidance of national level legislators was felt for long. We appreciate the Secretariat for the work done till now in the field of microfinance and realize the scope of contribution by the UNCITRAL in this area. We also want to caution that the scale of microfinance activity in various part of the world inherently discourages one-size-fit-all formulas. The quality of regulatory environment, limits on interest rates for loans, over-debtedness, over-collateralization and abuse of collective practices and other micro-finance related issues would be addressed in context-specific ways in various parts of the world and sometimes the context would be different in various regions within the same country.

Mr. Chairman,

Activities of the Commission should not be restricted to identification of important topics, preparation of texts and promotion of their use only. The provision of legislative technical assistance to developing countries also needs to be on the priority list of the Commission. In this background, we welcome the idea of establishing regional centers for the enhancement of international trade and dissemination of trade related norms and laws in general and the approval of UNCITRAL Regional Center for Asia and the Pacific in particular.

The relevance of the Commissionís work for the rule of law, good governance, regional integration, economic and social development, and the achievement of Millennium Development Goals is beyond doubt. There is a need to integrate the Commissionís work with broader UN efforts for the promotion of rule of law at national and international level by the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group and the Rule of Law Unit. The implementation of the UNCITRAL instruments would help countries to attract investment, resolve commercial disputes, build the trust of international community and, most importantly, earn them a better placement on the rule of law index.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.