Beirut, Lebanon: on 14 and 15 December 2016, Ms. Marina Schneider, UNIDROIT Senior Legal Officer and Treaty Depositary, participated in the Conference to Assess the Implementation of UNSC Resolution 2911/2015 for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Middle East with delegations from Iraq and Syria, the latter chaired by Prof. Dr. Maamoun Abdelkarim, Director-General of the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM).
The Conference set goals in the fight against illicit trafficking of Syrian and Iraqi cultural property. The experts present at the meeting emphasized the importance of having specialised police units and national databases on stolen objects connected to the INTERPOL database. The strengthening of domestic legislations to compel with the provisions of major international conventions in the field, such as UNESCO and UNIDROIT Conventions was also discussed.
Shot of the seated audience
The third informal meeting for the preparation and review of the draft Legislative Guide on Intermediated Securities was held at UNIDROIT’s seat on 12-13 December 2016, during which a group of experts carefully reviewed comments received from States and interested Organisations and stakeholders on the draft Legislative Guide. Based on those comments and the expert input received at the meeting, the Secretariat expects a revised draft of the Legislative Guide to be ready by the end of January 2017 for circulation for review and comments in the lead up to the fourth meeting of the Committee on Emerging Markets, which will be held in Beijing on 29-30 March 2017 at the kind invitation of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
More information about the Committee on Emerging Markets and draft Legislative Guide on Intermediated Securities is available here.
On 17 November 2016 the Kingdom of Swaziland’s instrument of accession to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment was deposited with UNIDROIT. The Kingdom of Swaziland made no declaration. Pursuant to Article 49(2) of the Convention, the Convention will enter into force only after the entry into force of a protocol. Further details about the Convention are available at the "Depositary Functions of UNIDROIT" page.
In advance of the first session of the UNIDROIT Committee of Governmental Experts for the preparation of a draft Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to Agricultural, Construction and Mining Equipment (the “MAC Protocol”), UNIDROIT invited member States and States parties to the Cape Town Convention to attend a half-day symposium to discuss key aspects of the project. The symposium took place at the Seat of UNIDROIT in Rome on Friday 2 December 2016. Experts in international secured transactions law that were involved in the MAC Protocol Study Group made various presentations on the project which are now available on the MAC Protocol page.
Panel of experts and UNIDROIT staff addressing the MAC Protocol Symposium
On 1 December 2016, the 75th session of the General Assembly of UNIDROIT was held at the seat of the Institute in Rome. The Ambassador of Brazil was elected Chairman of the General Assembly 2016-2017. The Assembly approved the Accounts of the 2015 financial year, adopted the draft Budget for the 2017 financial year and fixed the contributions of member States for that financial year. The Assembly approved the Work Programme of the organisation for the 2017-2019 triennium. The Assembly expressed its solidarity with Brazil for the recent tragic plan crash that had caused so many casualties.
Shot of seated delegations.
Ms. Marina Schneider, UNIDROIT Senior Legal Officer and Treaty Depositary, attended the Regional meeting for combating illicit trafficking in cultural property, held from November 28 to December 2, 2016, in Antigua, Guatemala.
The encounter had the purpose of creating an operational regional network in Central America to pursue efforts in the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property through international and inter-institutional cooperation. This framework also promotes the creation of mechanisms to properly implement the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention.
Experts from, among others, UNESCO, WCO, INTERPOL and ICOM were present at the meeting.
Shot of the seated audience
A Symposium was held in Rome at the seat of Unidroit on Wednesday 30 November to address the latest developments regarding the Luxembourg Rail Protocol and the benefits of becoming a party thereto. The symposium was open to appointed government officials of all UNIDROIT member States and States parties to the Cape Town Convention, and garnered the participation of over 50 delegates representing these States and Industry Stakeholders. The Secretary-General of UNIDROIT, Mr José Angelo Estrella Faria and the Secretary-General of OTIF, Mr Francois Davenne, opened the event, which featured panels focussing on the Emerging Opportunities of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol, Updates from the Ratification Task Force, and a Roundtable on the benefits of the Protocol for the financing in the rail sector. The audience heard perspectives on these topics from panellists Mr Howard Rosen (Chairman of the Rail Working Group), Ms Elizabeth Hirst (Registrar Designate of the International Registry), Mr Peter Bloch and Ms Mervi Kaikkonen (Co-Chairs of the Preparatory Commission and Ratification Task Force). The Panels were followed by a Roundtable on the benefits of the Protocol for the financing in the rail sector with Mr Olivier Desfontaines, Head of Railway Finance at Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and Ms Roberta Odoardi, Director of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, chaired by Mr Howard Rosen. The Symposium also benefitted from a statement provided by the Ambassador of Mozambique, H.E. Maria Manuela Lucas, reiterating the importance of Mozambique’s recent signature and its intention to proceed to ratification.