On 18 October 2018, UNIDROIT collaborated with FAO and IFAD to deliver a Side Event at the 45th plenary session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). Entitled “Improving Agricultural Investment Contracts and the Contracting Process,” the event was moderated by Secretary-General Ignacio Tirado (UNIDROIT) and brought together an impressive panel of experts, including Ms Margret Vidar (FAO), Mr Charles Forrest (IFAD), Mr Lorenzo Cotula (IIED), Mr Brian Baldwin (CFS/Private Sector Mechanism) and Ms Ilaria Bottigliero (IDLO). The panel discussed UNIDROIT’s future Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts, which aims to provide legal guidance to improve such contracts and make their negotiation and implementation consistent with CFS instruments, such as the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) and the CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI Principles). In doing so, the panel examined some of the key issues and safeguards addressed in that Guide and sought input from participants.
From left to right :
Ilaria Bottigliero (IDLO), Ignacio Tirado (UNIDROIT),
Charles Forrest (IFAD), Margaret Vidar (FAO),
Lorenzo Cotula (IIED), Brian Baldwin (CFS/Private Sector Mechanism)
On Wednesday 17 October 2018 UNIDROIT partnered with the Rail Working Group to deliver a Luxembourg Rail Protocol stakeholder briefing in Madrid, hosted by Bird&Bird. Building upon earlier implementation activities in Spain, the event brought together legal experts, manufacturers and private sector stakeholders to discuss the Rail Protocol's possible future implementation in Spain. The event was opened by UNIDROIT Secretary-General Ignacio Tirado with expert presentations from Anna Veneziano (UNIDROIT Deputy Secretary-General), Howard Rosen (Rail Working Group Chairman), Elizabeth Hirst (Managing Director of Regulis SA) and Teresa de las Heras Ballell Rodriguez (Professor of Commercial Law at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid).
-> Further information on the Luxembourg Rail Protocol is available at:
On 16-17 October 2018 UNIDROIT participated in the second Conference on International Coordination of Secured Transaction Law Reforms: Advancing Global Reforms and Building a Uniform System in Madrid, Spain. Co-sponsored by NatLaw, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the International Insolvency Institute, the Conference brought together representatives from the World Bank, IFC, UNCITRAL, EBRD, OAS and APEC as well as leading academics to advance the discussion began at the first coordination conference held on 9-10 February 2017 at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. During the Conference, UNIDROIT Secretary-General Ignacio Tirado presented on a panel examining how secured transactions reform is assessed, and UNIDROIT Deputy Secretary-General Anna Veneziano presented on a panel discussing procedures, strategies and working methods on institutional coordination.
The instrument of ratification of the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention has been deposited by Burkina Faso with the Italian Government, Depositary of the Convention, on 2 October 2018 and the Convention will enter into force for Burkina Faso on 1 April 2019.
On Monday 15 October 2018 UNIDROIT partnered with the Fundación para la Investigación sobre el Derecho y la Empresa (FIDE) in delivering a MAC Protocol consultation workshop in Madrid, Spain. The event brought together international experts, registrars, governmental representatives and private sector stakeholders to discuss the MAC Protocol's possible future implementation in Spain. The event was chaired by UNIDROIT Secretary-General Igancio Tirado with expert presentations from Anna Veneziano (UNIDROIT Deputy Secretary-General), Teresa de las Heras Ballell Rodriguez (Professor of Commercial Law at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid), Marek Dubovec (MAC Working Group Director of Global Outreach) and William Brydie-Watson (UNIDROIT Legal Officer).
The fourth meeting of the Working Group on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts took place at UNIDROIT’s seat in Rome on 9-11 October 2018. The Working Group began by discussing recent developments, including a presentation of the work at the panel on “Sustainable Investment in Agriculture” (Rome, 8 October 2018) during the IBA’s annual conference and the upcoming side event on “Improving Agricultural Investment Contracts and the Contracting Process” (Rome, 18 October 2018) that will take place during the CFS’ 45th plenary session. The Group then reviewed in detail drafts for all of the chapters of the future Legal Guide on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts, which are expected to be consolidated into a combined and substantially complete draft by the end of 2018. Lastly, the Group discussed next steps, including the plan for broad and extended consultations on the draft Guide, for incorporating the input received and for finalising the Guide.
On 9 October 2018, Ms Frederique Mestre, Senior Legal Officer, participated in an all-fora session on “The Future of Food: a Global Issue for Humanity” designed to debate the multifaceted nature of food security, resources, quality, transportation and production. Ms Mestre’s presentation focused on contract farming and the UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Contract Farming. The session was moderated by Monica Weimann (Gomez-Acebo & Pombo, Madrid, Spain).
Speakers : Matt Kovac (Food Industry Asia, Singapore),
Valentina Lattanzi (Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli & Partners, Milan, Italy),
Adaobi Osakwe (Agrolay Ventures, Lagos, Nigeria), Frederique Mestre (UNIDROIT, Rome, Italy)
On 9 October 2018, Governing Council member Mr José Antonio Moreno Rodriguez (Altra Legal Services, Asuncion, Paraguay) spoke of the importance of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts at the International Bar Association’s Annual Conference in Rome. His presentation was included on a panel entitled “Should there be general principles for the application of soft law?”, presented by the Arbitration Committee and the IBA Arbitration Guidelines and Rules Subcommittee. The session was moderated by Alvaro Lopez de Argumedo (Uria Menendez Abogados, Madrid, Spain; Chair, IBA Arbitration Guidelines and Rules Subcommittee).
(Governing Council member Mr Moreno Rodriguez)