New York Convention 1958
UNICTRAL Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of
Foreign Arbitral Awards - New York Convention 1958
The 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention 1958) entered into force in Pakistan on 12 October 2005, following Pakistan’s ratification of the Convention.

Pakistan’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards on 14 July 2005 completed the growth of this multinational treaty on international arbitration, now applicable in all major trading nations. The New York Convention, as it is more commonly known, obliges national courts (i) to refer parties to arbitration if requested to do so when seized of a matter covered by an arbitration agreement and (ii) to enforce awards made in other States.

According to the Ordinance incorporating the New York Convention into Pakistani law, awards made in other New York Convention Contracting States must be enforced in the same manner as a judgment or order of a court in Pakistan.

The adoption of the New York Convention in 1958 was a landmark in international arbitration and owed much to the work and inspiration of ICC during the preceding years. Pakistan was one of the initial signatories. Its long-awaited ratification was the result of a legislative process in which His Excellency Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Senior Advisor to the President of Pakistan at the time and member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration and the ICC National Committee in Pakistan played an important role.

The New York Convention 1958 was first enacted in Pakistan as Ordinance No.VIII of 2005 “An Ordinance to provide for the recognition and enforcement of arbitration agreements and foreign arbitral awards” on 14th July 2005, which was subsequently re-promulgated vide Presidential Ordinance.

Recent Developments
After the elections in 2008 there was a concern in the international business community as to the status of the “Ordinance for recognition and enforcement of arbitration agreements and foreign arbitral awards” in Pakistan. In this regard ICC Pakistan had enquired on the matter viz. its status as a Bill and corresponded with the Prime Minister's office. A response from the Prime Minister's secretariat dated 23rd June 2008 was received clarifying that the ordinance has become a valid law. Courts in Pakistan have already enforced it in several cases hence effectively preventing any local court impediments to international arbitration agreements.