Conference of UN International law begins in Abuja

Peter Bahago, Abuja


The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, UNCITRAL has began a two-day Conference in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Conference which is organised by the International Dispute Resolution Institute IDRI, is aimed at celebrating the remarkable contributions of the UN and UNCITRAL in the area of international trade laws, Modernisation and Harmonisation of International Business Law and best practices.

Speaking at the event, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo noted that the UN, through its Regional Economic Commission, RECs has contributed greatly in areas of international contracts, commercial arbitration and standardisation of trade documents.

Electronic commerce
In his keynote address, the Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha said that the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, UNCITRAL has contributed immensely to further the Harmonisation, Unification and dispute resolution of international trade.

Professor Osinbajo also said as a major contribution, UNCITRAL has entrenched significant changes in making small scale industries and electronic commerce, particularly in developing countries accessible.

He said the Nigerian Investment Promotion Act has made provision for the resolution of investment dispute through arbitration, in line with the objectives of UNCITRAL.

“As part of efforts to support arbitration in Nigeria,  government has set up some institutions such as  Regional  Centre for International Commercial Arbitration and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the country,” he said.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, represented by  Dayo Apata said as a core legal body of UN specialising in commercial law reform, UNCITRAL is relevant in International trade and commerce.

“The conference is a key component of UNCITRAL strategy to deepen African economy and business relationship with its international partners in matters of commercial arbitration,” he said.

The Secretary General of UNCITRAL, Ann Joubin-Bret said UNCITRAL is a flagship instrument in matters of disputes resolution globally.

She stated that the UN convention which gave birth to UNCITRAL was a valuable contribution to enhancing ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“The UN convention really deserves celebrations around the world particularly here in Nigeria where the government over the years boldly embarked on domestic law reforms in the area of business,” she added.


Lateefah Ibrahim