India Elected to UN International Trade Law Commission

IAS Prelims 2023

India has been reelected by the General Assembly to a six year term on the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

India has won all the five elections it contested at the UN this year, following last year’s reelection to the UN Human Rights Council.

In April the UN Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) elected India to the executive councils of UNICEF and the World Food Programme, the governing council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Along with India, 22 countries including the United States and Pakistan were reelected to UNCITRAL.

UNCITRAL, which specialises in commercial law reform, says its mission is “the modernization and harmonization of rules on international business.”

After the election, India’s Mission to the UN said in a statement that “it would continue to play a constructive role in the UNCITRAL which is recognized as the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.”


The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) (established in 1966) is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly of the United Nations with the general mandate to further the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade.

UNCITRAL has since prepared a wide range of conventions, model laws and other instruments dealing with the substantive law that governs trade transactions or other aspects of business law which have an impact on international trade.

UNCITRAL meets once a year, typically in summer, alternatively in New York and in Vienna.


UNCITRAL was originally composed of 29 States; its membership was expanded in 1973 to 36 States and again in 2004 to 60 States. Members of the Commission are elected for terms of six years, the terms of half the members expiring every three years.

Is UNCITRAL part of the World Trade Organization (WTO)?

No. UNCITRAL is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Secretariat of UNCITRAL is the International Trade Law Division of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. In contrast, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization independent from the United Nations.