Kiribati has acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (2005) (the “Electronic Communications Convention”). With its accession to the Electronic Communications Convention, Kiribati becomes the thirteenth State Party to the Convention. It will enter into force for Kiribati on 1 November 2020.
The Electronic Communications Convention aims to enhance legal certainty and commercial predictability where electronic communications are used in international contracts. For instance, it provides criteria for establishing functional equivalence between electronic communications and paper documents with respect to legal requirements such as “writing”, “original” and “signature”, building upon legal principles and provisions contained in other UNCITRAL texts on electronic commerce, such as the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, already adopted in some 150 jurisdictions across more than 70 countries.
Another goal pursued by the Electronic Communications Convention is removing legal obstacles to the use of electronic communications that may arise from the terms of treaties concluded before the widespread use of electronic media, including the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 1958 (the “New York Convention”) and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 1980 (“CISG”).
The UNCITRAL Secretariat is assisting the Government of Kiribati in creating an enabling legal environment for the digital economy, in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals 8, 9 and 16, and in line with the recommendations made in the Kiribati Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) with input from the Secretariat.