102nd session of UNIDROIT Governing Council

On 10-12 May 2023, UNIDROIT hosted the 102nd session of the Governing Council (GC), opened and chaired by UNIDROIT and GC President Prof. Maria Chiara Malaguti. Prof. Arthur Hartkamp (Doyen) and Dr Jorge Sánchez Cordero were appointed as first and second Vice Presidents of the Governing Council, respectively, for 2023-2024.

The Governing Council expressed its appreciation to the Secretariat staff for its dedication and extensive work in 2022 and the first months of 2023, as well as for the excellent results achieved. Note was taken and gratitude was expressed for the activities undertaken by the UNIDROIT Foundation.

Two new instruments were adopted during the 102nd session of the Council: the Model Law on Factoring, and the Principles on Digital Assets and Private Law. Furthermore, the GC approved the first full draft of the Model Law on Warehouse Receipts, and accorded to send it to UNCITRAL for state negotiations. The GC agreed to endorse the commencement of work on a guide to enactment for the Model Law on Factoring and the Model Law on Warehouse Receipts. Moreover, the Council approved a proposal for joint work with the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) on Law Applicable to Cross-Border Holdings and Transfers of Digital Assets and Tokens.

GC members received updates on five ongoing legislative activities carried over from the 2020-2022 Work Programme, including the projects on Best Practices for Effective Enforcement, Bank Insolvency, Legal Structures of Agricultural Enterprises, Private Art Collections, and Principles of Reinsurance Contract Law. The GC was briefed on the activities that had been conducted to kickstart two new high-priority projects included in the 2023-2025 Work Programme: the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts and Investment Contracts and Legal nature of Voluntary Carbon Credits.

Regarding UNIDROIT’s treaties, the Council was provided with an update on the implementation and status of the Cape Town Convention and its four Protocols (Aircraft, Rail, Space, and Mining, Agriculture and Construction – MAC). Concerning the MAC Protocol, the Council gave its approval for UNIDROIT to perform the role of Supervisory Authority of the International Registry and transmitted the matter to the UNIDROIT General Assembly for further consideration. A detailed update was also given on the implementation and status of the 1995 Convention for the International Protection of Cultural Property.

In matters pertaining to the Institute’s promotion strategy, the Council received an update on the activities planned for the dissemination of the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (UPICC) and the UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Contract Farming. The Secretariat also informed the Council about the creation of a separate section on the UNIDROIT website dedicated to its Correspondents, which number over one hundred. The members of the Governing Council were informed of all the activities of the UNIDROIT Academy, as well as of the communications strategy and social media outreach.

Concerning institutional matters, the GC reappointed Professor Ignacio Tirado as Secretary-General of the Institute for a second term for 2023-2028 and agreed with the proposal to establish a Special Committee to update the UNIDROIT Regulations. The Governing Council also considered and drafted the Budget for the 2024 financial year, which will be circulated for comments by Member States.

The Summary Conclusions will be published in due course.

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