The United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (the “Electronic Communications Convention”, or ECC) is a treaty that aims at facilitating the use of electronic communications in international trade. It was prepared by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 23 November 2005
UNCITRAL has been active in formulating uniform legislative standards for the use of electronic communications in trade since the 1980s. A first result of such work was the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, 1996 (MLEC), followed by the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Signatures (MLES), 2001. However, a number of issues remained unsolved, namely, the possibility to enable to use of electronic communications in cases where a formal written requirement is mandated by another treaty, usually drafted before the widespread use of electronic means. Moreover, as model laws may be enacted with variations in the various jurisdictions, it was felt that establishing a core of common provisions would increase uniformity and therefore predictability in international trade law. Finally, it was felt that some of the provisions of the MLEC and of the MLES could be outdated and complemented.
As a result, the Electronic Communications Convention addresses different policy goals: 1) it removes obstacles arising from formal requirements contained in other international trade law treaties; 2) it provides a common substantive core to the law of electronic communications, thus ensuring a higher level of uniformity both in the legislative text and in its interpretation; 3) it updates and complements the provisions of the MLEC and of the MLES; 4) it provides core legislation on electronic communications to those States not having yet any, or having partial and insufficient provisions
The methods of work are organized at three levels. The first level is UNCITRAL itself (The Commission), which holds an annual plenary session. The second level is the intergovernmental working groups (which is developing the topics on UNCITRAL’s work program. Texts designed to simplify trade transactions and reduce associated costs are developed by working groups comprising all member States of UNCITRAL, which meet once or twice per year. Non-member States and interested international and regional organizations are also invited and can actively contribute to the work since decisions are taken by consensus, not by vote. Draft texts completed by these working groups are submitted to UNCITRAL for finalization and adoption at its annual session. The International Trade Law Division of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs provides substantive secretariat services to UNCITRAL, such as conducting research and preparing studies and drafts. This is the third level, which assists the other two in the preparation and conduct of their work.
- Coordinating the work of organizations active and encouraging cooperation among them
- Promoting wider participation in existing international conventions and wider acceptance of existing model and uniform laws
- Preparing or promoting the adoption of new international conventions, model laws and uniform laws and promoting the codification and wider acceptance of international trade terms, provisions, customs and practice, in collaboration, where appropriate, with the organizations operating in this field
- Promoting ways and means of ensuring a uniform interpretation and application of international conventions and uniform laws in the field of the law of international trade
- Collecting and disseminating information on national legislation and modern legal developments, including case law, in the field of the law of international trade.
- Establishing and maintaining a close collaboration with the UN Conference on Trade and development.
- Maintaining liaison with other UN organs and specialized agencies concerned with international trade.
The Convention is an agreement among participating states establishing obligations binding upon those States that ratify or accede to it. A convention is designed to unify law by establishing binding legal obligations. To become a party to a convention, States are required formally to deposit a binding instrument of ratification or accession with the depository. The entry into force of a convention is usually dependent upon the deposit of a minimum number of instruments of ratification.
- the Convention on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods (1974)
- the United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea (1978)
- the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1980)
- the United Nations Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes (1988)
- the United Nations Convention on the Liability of Operators of Transport Terminals in International Trade (1991)
- the United Nations Convention on Independent Guarantees and Stand-by Letters of Credit (1995)
- the United Nations Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade (2001)
- the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (2005)
- the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (2008)
- the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (2015)
A model law is a legislative text that is recommended to States for enactment as part of their national law. Model laws are generally finalized and adapted by UNCITRAL, at its annual session, while conventions require the convening of a diplomatic conference.
- UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985)
- Model Law on International Credit Transfers (1992)
- UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction and Services (1994)
- UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996)
- UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (1997)
- UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Signatures (2001)
- UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation (2002) (text)
- Model Legislative Provisions on Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects (2003)
- UNCITRAL also drafted the:
- UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (1976) (text)—revised rules will be effective August 15, 2010; pre-released, July 12, 2010
- UNCITRAL Conciliation Rules (1980)
- UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (1982)
- UNCITRAL Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings (1996)
A legislative guide aims to provide a detailed analysis of the legal issues in a specific area of the law, proposing efficient approaches for their resolution in the national or local context. Legislative guides do not contain articles or provisions, but rather recommendations. Legislative Guides are developed by the UNCITRAL Working Groups and subsequently finalized by the UNCITRAL Commission in its annual session.
UNCITRAL has adopted the following legislative guides:
- UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects (2000)
- UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law (2004)
- UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions (2007)
- UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions: Supplement on Security Rights in Intellectual Property (2010)
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international economic organisation of 34 countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It is a forum of countries describing themselves as committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seeking answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.
In 1948, the OECD originated as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), led by Robert Marjolin of France, to help administer the Marshall Plan (which was rejected by the Soviet Union and its satellite states). This would be achieved by allocating American financial aid and implementing economic programs for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II, where there had been similar efforts in the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948 of the United States of America, which stipulated the Marshall Plan that had also taken place elsewhere in the world to war-torn Republic of China and post-war Korea, but the American recovery program in Europe was the most successful one.
In 1961, the OEEC was reformed into the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development by the Convention on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and membership was extended to non-European states. Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries. The OECD’s headquarters are at the Château de la Muette in Paris, France.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted in 2002 new guidelines for the Security of Information Systems and Networks: Towards a Culture of Security. This approach to the critical information infrastructure protection is a guideline, and as such not binding for member States.
An OECD Global Forum on Information Systems and Network Security was in 2003 held in Oslo, Norway. A Workshop on Cybercrime was organized in conjunction with this Forum.
The OECD Task Force on Spam was established in 2004 and delivered a report in 2006.
A joint APEC-OECD Workshop on Security of Information was held in Seoul in 2005. Several topics were discussed, including promoting global governmental incidents response.
In April 2007 an APEC-OECD Malware Workshop was held in Manila.
The OECD was the first international organization that initiated guidelines for computer crime, but does not today work directly on cybercrime per se. The organization focuses more on cybersecurity, and promotes a global coordinated policy approach building trust and confidence. The OECD Working Party on Information and Privacy (WPISP) develops international guidelines.
OECD released a project report called “Scoping paper on online Identity theft”, and recommends the development of adequate law enforcement countermeasures to prevent, detect and deter it.
The report included also with an analysis of the different legal approaches adopted by OECD member countries to address Identity theft, and examines the implications of creating a separate criminal offence for Identity theft.
The Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) was formed in 1948 to administer American and Canadian aid in the framework of the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. It started its operations on 16 April 1948. Since 1949, it was headquartered in the Chateau de la Muette in Paris, France. After the Marshall Plan ended, the OEEC focused on economic issues.
In the 1950s, the OEEC provided the framework for negotiations aimed at determining conditions for setting up a European Free Trade Area, to bring the European Economic Community of the six and the other OEEC members together on a multilateral basis. In 1958, a European Nuclear Energy Agency was set up under the OEEC.
By the end of the 1950s, with the job of rebuilding Europe effectively done, some leading countries felt that the OEEC had outlived its purpose, but could be adapted to fulfill a more global mission. It would be a hard-fought task, and after several sometimes fractious meetings at the Hotel Majestic in Paris starting in January 1960, a resolution was reached to create a body that would deal not only with European and Atlantic economic issues, but devise policies to assist less developed countries. This reconstituted organisation would bring the US and Canada, who were already OEEC observers, on board as full members. It would also set to work straight away on bringing in Japan.
The OECD defines itself as a forum of countries committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a setting to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices, and co-ordinate domestic and international policies. Its mandate covers economic, environmental, and social issues. It acts by peer pressure to improve policy and implement “soft law”—non-binding instruments that can occasionally lead to binding treaties. In this work, the OECD cooperates with businesses, with trade unions and with other representatives of civil society. Collaboration at the OECD regarding taxation, for example, has fostered the growth of a global web of bilateral tax treaties.
The OECD promotes policies designed:
- to achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in Member countries, while maintaining financial stability, and thus to contribute to the development of the world economy;
- to contribute to sound economic expansion in Member as well as nonmember countries in the process of economic development; and
- to contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, nondiscriminatory basis in accordance with international obligations.
The OECD’s structure consists of three main elements:
- The OECD member countries, each represented by a delegation led by an ambassador. Together, they form the OECD Council. Member countries act collectively through Council (and its Standing Committees) to provide direction and guidance to the work of Organization.
- The OECD Substantive Committees, one for each work area of the OECD, plus their variety of subsidiary bodies. Committee members are typically subject-matter experts from member and non-member governments. The Committees oversee all the work on each theme (publications, task forces, conferences, and so on). Committee members then relay the conclusions to their capitals.
- The OECD Secretariat, led by the Secretary-General (currently Ángel Gurría), provides support to Standing and Substantive Committees. It is organized into Directorates, which include about 2,500 staff.
- Delegates from the member countries attend committees’ and other meetings. Former Deputy-Secretary General Pierre Vinde estimated in 1997 that the cost borne by the member countries, such as sending their officials to OECD meetings and maintaining permanent delegations, is equivalent to the cost of running the secretariat. This ratio is unique among inter-governmental organisations. In other words, the OECD is more a persistent forum or network of officials and experts than an administration.
Noteworthy meetings include:
- The yearly Ministerial Council Meeting, with the Ministers of Economy of all member countries and the candidates for enhanced engagement among the countries.
- The annual OECD Forum, which brings together leaders from business, government, labour, civil society and international organizations This takes the form of conferences and discussions and is open to public participation.
- Thematic Ministerial Meetings, held among Ministers of a given domain (i.e., all Ministers of Labour, all Ministers of Environment, etc.).
- The bi-annual World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policies, which does not usually take place in the OECD. This series of meetings has the ambition to measure and foster progress in societies.
- Africa Partnership Forum
- Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC)
- Development Assistance Committee
- OECD Development Centre
- Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE)
- International Transport Forum (ITF) (formally known as the European Conference of Ministers of Transport)
- International Energy Agency
- Nuclear Energy Agency
- Partnership for Democratic Governance (PDG)
- Sahel and West Africa Club
- Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC)
The OECD has been criticised by several civil society groups and developing countries. The main criticism has been the narrowness of the OECD because of its limited membership to a select few rich nations. In 1997–1998, the draft Multilateral Agreement on Investment was heavily criticized by several non-governmental organisations and developing countries. Many critics argued that the agreement would threaten protection of human rights, labor and environmental standards, and the least developed countries. A particular concern was that the MAI would result in a ‘race to the bottom’ among countries willing to lower their labor and environmental standards to attract foreign investment. Also the OECD’s actions against competitive tax practices have raised criticism. The primary objection is the sanctity of tax policy as a matter of sovereign entitlement.
WTO (World Trade Organization)
The World Trade Organization (WTO), (OMC – is an international organization designed to supervise and liberalize international trade. The WTO came into being on January 1, 1995, and is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was created in 1947, and continued to operate for almost five decades as a de facto international organization.
The World Trade Organization deals with the rules of trade between nations at a near-global level; it is responsible for negotiating and implementing new trade agreements, and is in charge of policing member countries’ adherence to all the WTO agreements, signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. Most of the WTO’s current work comes from the 1986-94 negotiations called the Uruguay Round, and earlier negotiations under the GATT. The organization is currently the host to new negotiations, under the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) launched in 2001. The WTO is governed by a Ministerial Conference, which meets every two years; a General Council, which implements the conference’s policy decisions and is responsible for day-to-day administration; and a director-general, who is appointed by the Ministerial Conference. The WTO’s headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization which regulates international trade. The WTO officially commenced on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, signed by 123 nations on 15 April 1994, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948. The WTO deals with regulation of trade between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements, which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments. Most of the issues that the WTO focuses on derive from previous trade negotiations, especially from the Uruguay Round (1986–1994).
The WTO is attempting to complete negotiations on the Doha Development Round, which was launched in 2001 with an explicit focus on developing countries. As of June 2012, the future of the Doha Round remained uncertain: the work programme lists 21 subjects in which the original deadline of 1 January 2005 was missed, and the round is still incomplete. The conflict between free trade on industrial goods and services but retention of protectionism on farm subsidies to domestic agricultural sector (requested by developed countries) and the substantiation of fair trade on agricultural products (requested by developing countries) remain the major obstacles. This impasse has made it impossible to launch new WTO negotiations beyond the Doha Development Round. As a result, there have been an increasing number of bilateral free trade agreements between governments. As of July 2012, there were various negotiation groups in the WTO system for the current agricultural trade negotiation which is in the condition of stalemate.
The WTO’s current Director-General is Roberto Azevêdo, who leads a staff of over 600 people in Geneva, Switzerland. A trade facilitation agreement known as the Bali Package was reached by all members on 7 December 2013, the first comprehensive agreement in the organization’s history.
The WTO’s predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), was established after World War II in the wake of other new multilateral institutions dedicated to international economic cooperation – notably the Bretton Woods institutions known as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A comparable international institution for trade, named the International Trade Organization was successfully negotiated. The ITO was to be a United Nations specialized agency and would address not only trade barriers but other issues indirectly related to trade, including employment, investment, restrictive business practices, and commodity agreements. But the ITO treaty was not approved by the U.S. and a few other signatories and never went into effect.
In the absence of an international organization for trade, the GATT would over the years “transform itself” into a de facto international organization
Among the various functions of the WTO, these are regarded by analysts as the most important:
- It oversees the implementation, administration and operation of the covered agreements.
- It provides a forum for negotiations and for settling disputes.
Additionally, it is the WTO’s duty to review and propagate the national trade policies, and to ensure the coherence and transparency of trade policies through surveillance in global economic policy-making. Another priority of the WTO is the assistance of developing, least-developed and low-income countries in transition to adjust to WTO rules and disciplines through technical cooperation and training.
- The WTO shall facilitate the implementation, administration and operation and further the objectives of this Agreement and of the Multilateral Trade Agreements, and shall also provide the frame work for the implementation, administration and operation of the multilateral Trade Agreements.
- The WTO shall provide the forum for negotiations among its members concerning their multilateral trade relations in matters dealt with under the Agreement in the Annexes to this Agreement.
- The WTO shall administer the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes.
- The WTO shall administer Trade Policy Review Mechanism.
- With a view to achieving greater coherence in global economic policy making, the WTO shall cooperate, as appropriate, with the international Monetary Fund (IMF) and with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and its affiliated agencies
The General Council has the following subsidiary bodies which oversee committees in different areas:
Council for Trade in Goods
There are 11 committees under the jurisdiction of the Goods Council each with a specific task. All members of the WTO participate in the committees. The Textiles Monitoring Body is separate from the other committees but still under the jurisdiction of Goods Council. The body has its own chairman and only 10 members. The body also has several groups relating to textiles.
Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
Information on intellectual property in the WTO, news and official records of the activities of the TRIPS Council, and details of the WTO’s work with other international organizations in the field.
Council for Trade in Services
The Council for Trade in Services operates under the guidance of the General Council and is responsible for overseeing the functioning of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). It is open to all WTO members, and can create subsidiary bodies as required.
Trade Negotiations Committee
The Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) is the committee that deals with the current trade talks round. The chair is WTO’s director-general. As of June 2012 the committee was tasked with the
Doha Development Round.
The Service Council has three subsidiary bodies: financial services, domestic regulations, GATS rules and specific commitments. The council has several different committees, working groups, and working parties. There are committees on the following: Trade and Environment; Trade and Development (Subcommittee on Least-Developed Countries); Regional Trade Agreements; Balance of Payments Restrictions; and Budget, Finance and Administration. There are working parties on the following: Accession. There are working groups on the following: Trade, debt and finance; and Trade and technology transfer.
The WTO oversees about 60 different agreements which have the status of international legal texts. Member countries must sign and ratify all WTO agreements on accession. A discussion of some of the most important agreements follows. The Agreement on Agriculture came into effect with the establishment of the WTO at the beginning of 1995. The AoA has three central concepts, or “pillars”: domestic support, market access and export subsidies. The General Agreement on Trade in Services was created to extend the multilateral trading system to service sector, in the same way as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provided such a system for merchandise trade. The agreement entered into force in January 1995. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property (IP) regulation. It was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994.
The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures—also known as the SPS Agreement—was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of GATT, and entered into force with the establishment of the WTO at the beginning of 1995. Under the SPS agreement, the WTO sets constraints on members’ policies relating to food safety (bacterial contaminants, pesticides, inspection and labelling) as well as animal and plant health (imported pests and diseases). The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade is an international treaty of the World Trade Organization. It was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and entered into force with the establishment of the WTO at the end of 1994. The object ensures that technical negotiations and standards, as well as testing and certification procedures, do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade”. The Agreement on Customs Valuation, formally known as the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of GATT, prescribes methods of customs valuation that Members are to follow. Chiefly, it adopts the “transaction value” approach.
In December 2013, the biggest agreement within the WTO was signed and known as the Bali Package.
Important initiatives Of WTO In Cyber law And Intellectual Property
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects Of Intellectual Property Rights
The areas covered by the TRIPS Agreement
- Copyright and related rights
- Trademarks, including service marks
- Geographical indications
- Industrial designs
- Layout-designs (topographies) of integrated circuits
- Undisclosed information, including trade secrets
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest. WIPO was established by the WIPO Convention in 1967 with a mandate from its Member States to promote the protection of IP throughout the world through cooperation among states and in collaboration with other international organizations. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. There are currently 184 Member States, i.e. 90 percent of the countries of the world.
The WIPO Secretariat, or International Bureau, is based in Geneva. WIPO staff, drawn from more than 90 countries, include experts in diverse areas of IP law and practice, as well as specialists in public policy, economics, administration and IT. The respective divisions of the Secretariat are responsible for coordinating the meetings of Member States and implementing their decisions; for administering the international IP registration systems; for developing and executing the programs designed to achieve WIPO’s goals; and for providing a repository of IP expertise to assist its members. Among WIPO’s principal tasks is promoting the progressive development and harmonization of intellectual property laws, standards, and practices among its member states. Encouraging the growth of international common priniciples and rules governing intellectual property requires extensive consultations with states and other interested groups. Development of intellectual property law activities at WIPO reflects the two major categories of intellectual property. They include development of Industrial Property Law and development of Copyright Law. WIPO’s Cooperation for Development Program, as well as its program of Cooperation with Countries in Transition, provide legal and technical assistance in assisting countries develop strong intellectual property laws and systems.
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN )is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for the coordination of maintenance and methodology of several databases of unique identifiers related to the namespaces of the Internet, and ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.
Most visibly, much of its work has concerned the Internet’s global Domain Name System, including policy development for internationalization of the DNS system, introduction of new generic top-level domains (TLDs), and the operation of root name servers. The numbering facilities ICANN manages include the Internet Protocol address spaces for IPv4 and IPv6, and assignment of address blocks to regional Internet registries. ICANN also maintains registries of Internet protocol identifiers.
ICANN performs the actual technical maintenance work of the central Internet address pools and DNS Root registries pursuant to the IANA function contract.
ICANN’s primary principles of operation have been described as helping preserve the operational stability of the Internet; to promote competition; to achieve broad representation of the global Internet community; and to develop policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.
ICANN was created on September 18, 1998, and incorporated on September 30, 1998. It is headquartered in the Playa Vista section of Los Angeles, California. On September 29, 2006, ICANN signed a new agreement with the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) that moves the organization further towards a solely multi-stakeholder governance model.
On October 1, 2009 the U.S. Department of Commerce gave up its control of ICANN, completing ICANN’s transition
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world; to fears that highly industrialised Japan (a member of G8) would come to dominate economic activity in the Asia-Pacific region; and to establish new markets for agricultural products and raw materials beyond Europe.
An annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members except Taiwan (which is represented by a ministerial-level official under the name Chinese Taipei as economic leader). The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and a famous tradition, followed for most (but not all) summits, involves the attending leaders dressing in a national costume of the host country.
APEC has an Electronic Commerce Steering Group as well as working on common privacy regulations throughout the APEC region.
In January 1989, Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke called for more effective economic cooperation across the Pacific Rim region. This led to the first meeting of APEC in the Australian capital of Canberra in November, chaired by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans. Attended by ministers from twelve countries, the meeting concluded with commitments for future annual meetings in Singapore and Korea.
Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) opposed the initial proposal, instead proposing the East Asia Economic Caucus which would exclude non-Asian countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This plan was opposed and strongly criticised by Japan and the United States.
The first APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting occurred in 1993 when U.S. President Bill Clinton, after discussions with Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, invited the heads of government from member economies to a summit on Blake Island. He believed it would help bring the stalled Uruguay Round of trade talks back on track. At the meeting, some leaders called for continued reduction of barriers to trade and investment, envisioning a community in the Asia-Pacific region that might promote prosperity through cooperation. The APEC Secretariat, based in Singapore, was established to coordinate the activities of the organisation.
During the meeting in 1994 in Bogor, Indonesia, APEC leaders adopted the Bogor Goals that aim for free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialised economies and by 2020 for developing economies. In 1995, APEC established a business advisory body named the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), composed of three business executives from each member economy.
In April 2001, the APEC, in collaboration with five other international organisations (Eurostat, IEA, OLADE, OPEC and the UNSD) launched the Joint Oil Data Exercise, which became rapidly the Joint Organization Data Initiative (JODI).
APEC currently has 21 members, including most countries with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean. However, the criterion for membership is that the member is a separate economy, rather than a state. As a result, APEC uses the term member economies rather than member countries to refer to its members. One result of this criterion is that membership of the forum includes Taiwan (officially the Republic of China, participating under the name “Chinese Taipei”) alongside People’s Republic of China (see Cross-Strait relations), as well as Hong Kong, which entered APEC as a British colony but it is now a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. APEC also includes three official observers: ASEAN, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.
Domestic Measures On Child Pornography
This Convention is the first instrument to establish the various forms of sexual abuse of children as criminal offences, including such abuse committed in the home or family, with the use of force, coercion or threats.
Preventive measures outlined in the Convention include the screening, recruitment and training of people working in contact with children, making children aware of the risks and teaching them to protect themselves, as well as monitoring measures for offenders and potential offenders.
The Convention also establishes programs to support victims, encourages people to report suspected sexual exploitation and abuse, and sets up telephone and internet helplines for children.
It also ensures that certain types of conduct are classified as criminal offences, such as engaging in sexual activities with a child below the legal age and child prostitution and pornography. The Convention also criminalises the solicitation of children for sexual purposes (“grooming”) and “sex tourism”.
With the aim of combating child sex tourism, the Convention establishes that individuals can be prosecuted for some offences even when the act is committed abroad.
The new legal tool also ensures that child victims are protected during judicial proceedings, for example with regard to their identity and privacy.
- The purposes of this Convention are to:
- prevent and combat sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children;
- protect the rights of child victims of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse;
- promote national and international co-operation against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.
- In order to ensure effective implementation of its provisions by the Parties, this Convention sets up a specific monitoring mechanism.
Article 2: Non-discrimination principle
The implementation of the provisions of this Convention by the Parties, in particular the enjoyment of measures to protect the rights of victims, shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, state of health, disability or other status.
Article 3: Definitions
For the purposes of this Convention:
- “child” shall mean any person under the age of 18 years;
- “sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children” shall include the behaviour as referred to in Articles 18 to 23 of this Convention;
- “victim” shall mean any child subject to sexual exploitation or sexual abuse.
Article 4: Principles
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to prevent all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children and to protect children.
Article 5: Recruitment, training and awareness raising of persons working in contact with children
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to encourage awareness of the protection and rights of children among persons who have regular contacts with children in the education, health, social protection, judicial and law-enforcement sectors and in areas relating to sport, culture and leisure activities.
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the persons referred to in paragraph 1 have an adequate knowledge of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, of the means to identify them and of the possibility mentioned in Article 12, paragraph 1.
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures, in conformity with its internal law, to ensure that the conditions to accede to those professions whose exercise implies regular contacts with children ensure that the candidates to these professions have not been convicted of acts of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse of children.
Article 6: Education for children
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that children, during primary and secondary education, receive information on the risks of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, as well as on the means to protect themselves, adapted to their evolving capacity. This information, provided in collaboration with parents, where appropriate, shall be given within a more general context of information on sexuality and shall pay special attention to situations of risk, especially those involving the use of new information and communication technologies.
Article 7: Preventive intervention programmers or measures
Each Party shall ensure that persons who fear that they might commit any of the offences established in accordance with this Convention may have access, where appropriate, to effective intervention programmers or measures designed to evaluate and prevent the risk of offences being committed.
Article 8: Measures for the general public
- Each Party shall promote or conduct awareness raising campaigns addressed to the general public providing information on the phenomenon of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children and on the preventive measures which can be taken.
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to prevent or prohibit the dissemination of materials advertising the offences established in accordance with this Convention.
Article 9: Participation of children, the private sector, the media and civil society
- Each Party shall encourage the participation of children, according to their evolving capacity, in the development and the implementation of state policies, programs or others initiatives concerning the fight against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.
- Each Party shall encourage the private sector, in particular the information and communication technology sector, the tourism and travel industry and the banking and finance sectors, as well as civil society, to participate in the elaboration and implementation of policies to prevent sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children and to implement internal norms through self-regulation or co-regulation.
- Each Party shall encourage the media to provide appropriate information concerning all aspects of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, with due respect for the independence of the media and freedom of the press.
- Each Party shall encourage the financing, including, where appropriate, by the creation of funds, of the projects and programmes carried out by civil society aiming at preventing and protecting children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse
Article 10: National measures of co-ordination and collaboration
- Each Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure the co-ordination on a national or local level between the different agencies in charge of the protection from, the prevention of and the fight against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, notably the education sector, the health sector, the social services and the law-enforcement and judicial authorities.
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to set up or designate:
- independent competent national or local institutions for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, ensuring that they are provided with specific resources and responsibilities;
- mechanisms for data collection or focal points, at the national or local levels and in collaboration with civil society, for the purpose of observing and evaluating the phenomenon of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, with due respect for the requirements of personal data protection.
- Each Party shall encourage co-operation between the competent state authorities, civil society and the private sector, in order to better prevent and combat sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.
Protective measures and assistance to victims
Article 11: Principles
- Each Party shall establish effective social programmes and set up multidisciplinary structures to provide the necessary support for victims, their close relatives and for any person who is responsible for their care.
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that when the age of the victim is uncertain and there are reasons to believe that the victim is a child, the protection and assistance measures provided for children shall be accorded to him or her pending verification of his or her age.
Article 12: Reporting suspicion of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the confidentiality rules imposed by internal law on certain professionals called upon to work in contact with children do not constitute an obstacle to the possibility, for those professionals, of their reporting to the services responsible for child protection any situation where they have reasonable grounds for believing that a child is the victim of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse.
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to encourage any person who knows about or suspects, in good faith, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse of children to report these facts to the competent services.
Article 13: Helplines
Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to encourage and support the setting up of information services, such as telephone or Internet helplines, to provide advice to callers, even confidentially or with due regard for their anonymity.
Article 14: Assistance to victims
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to assist victims, in the short and long term, in their physical and psycho-social recovery. Measures taken pursuant to this paragraph shall take due account of the child’s views, needs and concerns.
- Each Party shall take measures, under the conditions provided for by its internal law, to co-operate with non-governmental organisations, other relevant organisations or other elements of civil society engaged in assistance to victims.
- When the parents or persons who have care of the child are involved in his or her sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, the intervention procedures taken in application of Article 11, paragraph 1, shall include:
- the possibility of removing the alleged perpetrator;
- the possibility of removing the victim from his or her family environment. The conditions and duration of such removal shall be determined in accordance with the best interests of the child.
- Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that the persons who are close to the victim may benefit, where appropriate, from therapeutic assistance, notably emergency psychological care.
Infringement of Copyrights and Related Rights Offences
The Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime or the Budapest Convention, is the first international treaty seeking to address Internet and computer crime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations. It was drawn up by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, with the active participation of the Council of Europe’s observer states Canada and Japan.
The Convention and its Explanatory Report was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe at its 109th Session on 8 November 2001. It was opened for signature in Budapest, on 23 November 2001 and it entered into force on 1 July 2004. As of June 2015, 46 states have ratified the convention, while a further eight states had signed the convention but not ratified it.
On 1 March 2006 the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime came into force. Those States that have ratified the additional protocol are required to criminalize the dissemination of racist and xenophobic material through computer systems, as well as threats and insults motivated by racism or xenophobia
Extradition Under COE
The European Convention on Extradition is a multilateral extradition treaty drawn in 1957 up by the member states of the Council of Europe and in force between all of them. The Convention is also available for signature by non-members which as of January 2012 are Israel, South Africa and South Korea. Prior to the introduction of the European Arrest Warrant, the Convention governed extradition between member states of the European Union.