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The Russian Federation, represented by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, in order to create transparent, predictable and non-discriminatory conditions for doing business in emergency situations, submitted its proposals for the unification of legal norms to the UN Commission on Trade Law (UNCITRAL). It is proposed to develop common approaches, rules and mechanisms for solving business issues in foreign countries that arise during a pandemic, natural disasters and other similar situations.
According to the UN report on the state and prospects of the world economy for mid-2020, "almost 90 percent of the world's economic activity has been affected in some form by the coronavirus pandemic. Transnational trade links and supply chains are disrupted, consumer demand has declined, and millions of people are out of work."
The Russian delegation believes that it is necessary to develop within the framework of UNCITRAL a ready - made set of solutions (toolbox) that can be used by states in various situations involving significant and unforeseen restrictions on world trade. To achieve this objective, it is proposed to create a separate working group within the framework of UNCITRAL with a corresponding mandate.
Mechanisms that could be considered as a result of its work may include, for example, recommendations designed to help individuals correctly fix provisions in contracts to minimize risks associated with situations comparable to a pandemic; model legislation in this area; means to ensure the normalization of the work of SMEs in emergency situations, etc.
"This year we have gained some experience in solving issues in the context of COVID. And this experience should be taken into account in the rules of international trade and help to overcome such situations in the future. Such rules are becoming necessary in modern conditions. We look forward to active cooperation with states in connection with the new challenges facing both the Russian and global economy," state Secretary – Deputy Minister of economic development Alexey Khersontsev commented.
UNCITRAL is a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly, established in 1966, whose main function is to unify the rules of international trade.
The document submitted by the Russian Federation to UNCITRAL can be found here.