The GIST With DRC!
Amina Nwakaego Nwabuezeh.
Recall that history was made in 2019 when Singapore hosted the signing ceremony where 46 countries signed the Singapore Convention on Mediation including Nigeria, ‘with more coming on board after’.¹
Click on the link below to read a report by Aisha Ado Abdullahi on The GIST With DRC!²
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 this important instrument. The number of first-day signatories was among the highest for any UN trade convention, reflecting international recognition and support of the Convention’s benefits.
Sequel to the signing of the Convention, the Singapore Convention on Mediation has now entered into force, marking a significant development in international commercial dispute resolution.
This is good news as businesses 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.
The Convention, also known as the United Nations (UN) Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, is the first UN treaty to be named after Singapore. As of 1 September 2020, the Convention has 53 signatories, including the United States, China and India. Ecuador is the most recent country to ratify the Convention, joining Singapore, Fiji, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Belarus, and bringing the number of countries who have ratified the Convention to six (6).
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.
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.
With the Convention, businesses can rely on mediation as a dispute resolution option for their cross-border transactions, with greater certainty and assurance that their mediated outcomes are enforceable. The conciliatory nature of mediation also helps to preserve commercial relationships despite the disputes. Thus, businesses can strive and grow more.
As adoption of the Convention becomes more prevalent globally, it will also strengthen Singapore’s position as an international dispute resolution hub and better serve the needs of international businesses that use Singapore as a base for their international commercial transactions.
Over the years, Singapore has set up various institutions, including the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Singapore International Mediation Centre, and Singapore International Commercial Court to provide a full suite of dispute resolution services for international commercial parties to resolve their disputes in Singapore.
To mark the entry into force, a digital event featuring a series of high-level speeches, followed by a commemoration ceremony was screened on the Singapore Convention on Mediation website at Entry into Force Celebration from 12pm Singapore time (GMT+8) on 12th of September 2020.
(The video of the event can be accessible on the Singapore Convention website)³. This officially gives the legislation legal force and effect and further increases the ease of doing business and foreign direct investments.