Singapore Convention on Mediation comes into force
New Delhi: The Singapore Convention on Mediation came into force on Saturday and will provide a more effective way for enforcing mediated settlements of corporate disputes involving businesses in India and other countries that are signatories to the Convention.
Also known as the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, this is also the first UN treaty to be named after Singapore.
“With the Convention in force, businesses seeking enforcement of a mediated settlement agreement across borders can do so by applying directly to the courts of countries that have signed and ratified the treaty, instead of having to enforce the settlement agreement as a contract in accordance with each country’s domestic process,” an official statement said on Saturday.
The harmonised and simplified enforcement framework under the Convention translates to savings in time and legal costs, which is especially important for businesses in times of uncertainty, such as during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the statement issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Law said.
As on September 1, the Convention has 53 signatories, including India, China and the US.
According to the statement, the Convention, which entered into force on Saturday, would boost India’s ‘ease of doing business’ credentials by enabling swift mediated settlements of corporate disputes.
“Businesses in India and around the world will now have greater certainty in resolving cross-border disputes through mediation, as the Convention provides a more effective means for mediated outcomes to be enforced,” it said.
Singapore had worked with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and other UN member states and non-governmental organisations to contribute to the development of the Convention.
Singapore’s Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam said the Convention’s entry into force is a significant milestone, as it further strengthens the international dispute resolution enforcement framework.
“This benefits businesses by providing greater certainty in resolving cross-border commercial disputes, ultimately facilitating international trade and commerce,” he added.
Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Joubin-Bret said that with the Convention successfully entering into force, “we look forward to it bringing certainty and stability to the international framework on mediation, and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals”.
Over the years, Singapore has set up various institutions to provide a full suite of dispute resolution services for international commercial parties to resolve their disputes in Singapore. These include the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Singapore International Mediation Centre and Singapore International Commercial Court, the statement said.