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In a first, Singapore will lend its name to United Nations treaty on mediation

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Convention on Mediation — the first United Nations Convention named after the Republic — will be signed in August next year.

In a first, Singapore will lend its name to United Nations treaty on mediation

Members of the United Nations Security Council attend a meeting chaired by Polish President Andrzej Duda at United Nations headquarters, on May 17, 2018, in New York City.

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Convention on Mediation — the first United Nations Convention named after the Republic — will be signed in August next year.

Once the treaty enters into force, it will permit settlement agreements arising from international commercial mediation to be enforced in any contracting state. Its goal is to make it easier for businesses to enforce mediated settlement agreements, which is commonly a challenge due to international borders.

In a press statement on Monday (July 23), the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) noted that although mediation has risen as a means to resolve cross-border commercial disputes, one key obstacle to its growth is the difficulty that one party faces in ensuring its counterpart complies with their settlement arrangements.

The Convention will be the first multilateral agreement to address this, and will therefore facilitate the growth of international commerce, MinLaw said.

Singapore will host the signing ceremony in August next year, but it is unclear how many countries will be among the first signatories. However, it may be some time before it can take effect since there is a ratification process following the signing.

Calling the treaty a significant one that will “put Singapore on the map” for thought leadership in international trade laws, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said: “Anytime people talk about mediation, they will look up the international treaty and they will know there’s a Singapore Convention. So automatically Singapore will have mindshare among the profession … among people who want to go for mediation.” 

The next step then is to make sure that the Republic has the right lawyers who are capable of handling the mediation and advising parties, Mr Shanmugam added. He was speaking to reporters at a media interview at the Ministry of Law.

The other international treaty which was named after Singapore is the 2006 Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, which was concluded under the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a United Nations specialised agency.

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