On 20 April 2016, UNIDROIT celebrated the 90th anniversary of its foundation in a Special session of the UNIDROIT General Assembly, which was followed by a symposium devoted to the role and place of private law in supporting the implementation of the international community’s broader cooperation and development objectives.
Delegates from more than 60 countries, including UNIDROIT Member States and non-Member States, as well as representatives from various Intergovernmental Organisations met in Rome, at Palazzo Altieri. The session was presided by the chairman of the UNIDROIT General Assembly for the period 2015-2016, H.E. Ambassador Amr Mostafa Kamal Helmy (Egypt).
Addressing the Assembly on behalf of the host country, Ambassador Antonio Bernardini (Deputy Secretary-General of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) stressed that the activities of UNIDROIT span well beyond trade and commercial law strictly speaking, as he praised the contribution of UNIDROIT in two crucial sectors through the 1995 Convention on stolen and illegally exported cultural objects, a remarkable international instrument which in many ways has set the standard for the protection of cultural property, as well as the recent the Legal Guide on Contract Farming, prepared in cooperation with FAO and IFAD, an example of a practical tool to enhance the implementation of the development agenda in the field of agriculture.
His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin (Secretary of State of the Holy See), conveying to the Assembly the greetings of His Holiness Pope Francis, paid tribute “to all the work accomplished by UNIDROIT and to renew the call tirelessly to work for the spread of the message of universal peace, harmony and concord, worldwide, using all means fairly at our disposal.” Prof. Alberto Mazzoni (President of UNIDROIT) and Mr José Angelo Estrella Faria (Secretary-General) also addressed the audience. The Ceremony concluded with statements delivered by Ambassadors and other high-ranking representatives of 18 member States stressing their commitment to UNIDROIT and to its work in the future.
The Special session of the General Assembly was followed by an International Symposium entitled “Private Law, International Cooperation and Development”.