In the years since its establishment, UNCITRAL has been recognized as the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. A legal body with universal membership specializing in commercial law reform worldwide for over 40 years, UNCITRAL's business is the modernization and harmonization of rules on international business.
Trade means faster growth, higher living standards, and new opportunities through commerce. In order to increase these opportunities worldwide, UNCITRAL is formulating modern, fair, and harmonized rules on commercial transactions. These include:
- Conventions, model laws and rules which are acceptable worldwide
- Legal and legislative guides and recommendations of great practical value
- Updated information on case law and enactments of uniform commercial law
- Technical assistance in law reform projects
- Regional and national seminars on uniform commercial law
The Commission carries out its work at annual sessions, which are held in alternate years at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the Vienna International Centre at Vienna. Each working group of the Commission typically holds one or two sessions a year, depending on the subject-matter to be covered; these sessions also alternate between New York and Vienna.
In addition to member States, all States that are not members of the Commission, as well as interested international organizations, are invited to attend sessions of the Commission and of its working groups as observers. Observers are permitted to participate in discussions at sessions of the Commission and its working groups to the same extent as members.
The Commission has established six working groups to perform the substantive preparatory work on topics within the Commission's programme of work. Each of the working groups is composed of all member States of the Commission.
The six working groups and their current topics are as follows: