From the Final Act of the United Nations Conference on International Commercial Arbitration of 10 June 1958 to the General Assembly resolution 62/65 of 6 December 2007
1. The New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention” or the “Convention”) is one of the most important and successful United Nations treaties in the area of international trade law. Although the Convention, adopted by diplomatic conference on 10 June 1958, was prepared by the United Nations prior to the establishment of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), promotion of the Convention is an integral part of the work programme of UNCITRAL. The Convention is widely recognized as a foundational instrument of international arbitration and requires courts of contracting States to give effect to an agreement to arbitrate when seized of an action in a matter covered by an arbitration agreement and also to recognize and enforce awards made in other States, subject to specific limited exceptions. The Convention entered into force on 7 June 1959, and there are to date 156 States parties to the Convention.
2. The General Assembly adopted on 6 December 2007 resolution 62/65 in which it recognized the value of arbitration as a method of settling disputes in international commercial relations in a manner that contributes to harmonious commercial relations, stimulates international trade and development, and promotes the rule of law at the international and national levels. The General Assembly expressed its conviction that the New York Convention strengthens respect for binding commitments, inspires confidence in the rule of law and ensures fair treatment in the resolution of disputes arising over contractual rights and obligations. It emphasized the necessity for further national efforts to achieve universal adherence to the Convention, together with its uniform interpretation and effective implementation. The General Assembly expressed its hope that States that are not yet parties to the Convention would soon become parties to it, which would ensure that the legal certainty afforded by the Convention is universally enjoyed, and would decrease the level of risk and transactional costs associated with doing business, thus promoting international trade.
3. The General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to increase efforts to promote wider adherence to the Convention and its uniform interpretation and effective implementation. The UNCITRAL Secretariat Guide on the New York Convention (the “Guide on the New York Convention” or the “Guide”) has been prepared with the aim to fulfil that request.
Promoting uniform interpretation of UNCITRAL instruments
4. UNCITRAL, in accordance with its mandate, has undertaken the preparation of the tools necessary for a thorough understanding of the instruments it develops and for their uniform interpretation.
5. One of these instruments, the website www.newyorkconvention1958.org, has been established in order to make the information gathered in preparation of the Guide on the New York Convention publicly available. The site contains an electronic version of the Guide, a significant corpus of judicial interpretation of the New York Convention by States Parties, information on the ratification of the Convention, the travaux préparatoires, as well as a bibliography, that is a comprehensive directory of publications relating to the application and interpretation of the Convention. This website provides legislators, judges, practitioners, parties and academics with a wealth of information that is dynamic and ever-growing. It offers an interactivity between contents and an indexing that enables the various elements of the site to link to one another, in a unique canvas. The search engine of the website allows a thorough search among the decisions, and enables searching the Guide, the travaux préparatoires, the case law and the bibliography. In relation to each case, it contains the full text of the decision, a translation of the decision in English where relevant, as well as a summary of the cases. It supplements the cases collected in the CLOUT (Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts) database and serves as a primary reference tool underlying the Guide on the New York Convention.
6. The Guide on the New York Convention presents the information on the Convention by article. Each section contains a synopsis of the relevant case law for the relevant article, highlighting common views and reporting any divergent approach. The Guide was prepared using the decisions cited in the website www.newyorkconvention1958.org as well as other decisions, fully cited in the footnotes.
7. The Guide on the New York Convention does not constitute an independent authority indicating the interpretation to be given to individual provisions but rather serves as a reference tool collating a wide range of decisions from a number of jurisdictions. The purpose of the Guide is to assist in the dissemination of information on the New York Convention and further promote its adoption as well as its uniform interpretation and effective implementation. In addition, the Guide is meant to help judges, arbitrators, practitioners, academics and Government officials use more efficiently the case law relating to the Convention.
Acknowledgement of contributions
The Guide is the result of the cooperation between Professor Emmanuel Gaillard and Professor George Bermann, their research teams, and the UNCITRAL Secretariat. The first edition of the Guide, prepared in 2013-2016, greatly benefited from the following contributors: Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC); Associação Brasileira de Estudantes de Arbitragem (ABEArb); Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA); Centre of Documentation of the Italian Supreme Court; Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit e.V. (DIS); DSP Publishing; Federal Court of Australia; High Court of Australia; Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR); New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC); Permanent Secretariat, OHADA (Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du droit des affaires); Republica e Cantone Ticino; Supreme Court of South Australia; Supreme Court of Tasmania; The People’s Court Press (Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China) (人民法院出版社); Tribunal de Justiça do Estado de São Paulo; Domenico Di Pietro (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP); Anna-Maria Tamminen (Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd); Niki K. Kerameus (Kerameus & Partner); Justinas Jarusevicius (Motieka & Audzevicius); Professor Jie (Jeanne) Huang, S.J.D., Associate Professor of Law, Director of Foreign Affairs Department at the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade School of Law; Professor Liza Chen, Dean of Law School, Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade School of Law; Sophie Tkemaladze (MCIArb, ADR Advisor for the Judicial Independence and Legal Empowerment Project (JILEP) implemented by the East-West Management Institute, Georgia); Christoph Liebscher (Wolf Theiss, Vienna, Austria); Charles Poncet (ZPG Avocats); Deyan Draguiev (CMS Cameron McKenna LLP-Bulgaria Branch); Grant Herholdt (ENS (Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs) South Africa); Duarte Gorjão Henriques (BCH Advogados); the network of CLOUT correspondents.