For information only - not an official document
26 February 2020
VIENNA, 26 February (UN Information Service) - With the deposit of instruments of ratification by Singapore and Fiji on 25 February at the UN Headquarters in New York, the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation draws closer to entry into force, which shall take place six months after the deposit of three such instruments. Fifty-two States have signed the Convention, also known as the "Singapore Convention on Mediation", since it opened for signature on 7 August 2019, making it one of the most successful multilateral treaties prepared by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
Adopted in December 2018 by the UN General Assembly, the Singapore Convention on Mediation provides an effective cross-border enforcement mechanism for international settlement agreements resulting from mediation. The General Assembly has recognized that the use of mediation "results in significant benefits, such as reducing the instances where a dispute leads to the termination of a commercial relationship, facilitating the administration of international transactions by commercial parties and producing savings in the administration of justice by States." By providing a cross-border enforcement mechanism, the Convention brings certainty and stability to the international framework on mediation, thereby promoting more prosperous, stable and sustainable international trade relationships among States and regions and contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly increasing access to justice under Goal 16 - Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Health, Edwin Tong Chun Fai S.C. said: "The Singapore Convention on Mediation is the missing third piece, joining instruments such as the New York Convention for arbitration and the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements for litigation. By providing for the cross-border settlement agreements resulting from mediation, the Convention strengthens the international framework of rules in the field of commercial dispute resolution.
"I am happy that Singapore, together with Fiji, have come together today to be the first two countries to ratify the Convention. We are now one step closer to seeing the Convention enter into force. Singapore is committed to multilateralism and a rules-based international order. We are confident that the Convention will benefit international trade, by providing businesses around the world with more options and greater certainty in resolving cross border disputes. Singapore will continue to do our part to promote and support the Convention."
The Convention is open for signature and for accession by States and regional economic integration organizations at United Nations Headquarters in New York. States that have signed the Convention need to ratify, accept or approve the Convention. For up-to-date information about the parties and signatories to the Convention, please see the UNCITRAL website.
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement and infrastructure development. UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL Secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria, and maintains a website at uncitral.un.org .
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