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Cabinet nod to ratify UN convention on electronic intl. agreements

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  • Attempt to join global effort to give electronic documents the same validity as paper copies

By Uditha Jayasinghe

In a move to streamline and update international trade, Sri Lanka has decided to ratify the United Nations Convention on the use of electronic communications regarding international agreements so they have the same validity as paper documents.

The United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts otherwise known as UNCITRAL has been in global circulation since 2005 as an attempt to rationalize and restructure trade deals swapped by international partners.

Cabinet approval has been given for the Foreign Ministry to ratify the convention and to empower the Information Communication Technology Institution (ICTA) to make recommendations on revisions and modifications that may be necessary to fulfil the obligations of the convention. 

The Electronic Communications Convention aims at facilitating the use of electronic communications in international trade by assuring that contracts concluded and other communications exchanged electronically are as valid and enforceable as their traditional paper-based equivalents.

“Sri Lanka has signed the convention in 2006 and in the formulation of the Electronic Transaction Act No. 19 of the year 2006 the basic principles and contents of the convention has been included,” the Cabinet paper tabled by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera stated.

To date 14 countries have ratified the document including China, Philippines and Saudi Arabia but only six countries have set about implementing it.

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