Uma Sekhar elected to governing council at UNIDROIT in Italy

Uma Sekhar secured 45 of the 59 votes cast in the initial round of elections

UNIDROIT / Image credit – X/@IndiaInItaly

In a historic victory, India’s Uma Sekhar was elected to the Governing Council of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). The elections were held on December 14 in Rome, Italy.

Sekhar, the Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, India, secured 45 out of 59 votes cast in the initial round of elections. A minimum of 21 votes are needed to secure a position on the Governing Council.

The Indian embassy in Rome shared the news on their official page on X. “Delighted to announce that India got elected to UNIDROIT Governing Council today in a fiercely contested election. Privileged to be part of the organization's policy making process. (India) also successfully completes its tenure as President of the GA for the year 2022-23. @MEAIndia,” the post read.

The Governing Council (GC) is one of the six organs of the UNIDROIT Statute. It has 25 seats, and members are elected for a five-year term. The votes to appoint members of the GC are cast by the General Assembly which is the supreme organ of the Statute.

The Council’s members are typically distinguished scholars, high-ranking members of the judiciary or senior government officials or diplomats. Each member government follows its own tradition in selecting and proposing its candidate.

The functions of the GC include, as per the Statute, include preparing drafts of laws and conventions with the object of establishing uniform internal law; preparing drafts of agreements to facilitate international relations in the field of private law; undertaking studies in comparative private law; take an interest in projects already undertaken in any of these fields by other institutions with which it may maintain relations as necessary; and organizing conferences and publishing works which UNIDROIT considers worthy of wide circulation.

The UNIDROIT was set up in 1926, and re-established in 1940. Australia, Canada, Germany, UK, and the U.S. are also part of the 65 member states.

The purpose of the intergovernmental organization is to study needs and methods for “modernising, harmonizing, and co-ordinating private and in particular commercial law as between States and groups of States and to formulate uniform law instruments, principles, and rules to achieve those objectives.”