Singapore Convention On Mediation Enters Into Force


  • The Singapore Convention on Mediation entered into force on 12th September, marking a significant development in international commercial dispute resolution.
  • 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.
  • Signatories: As of 1 September 2020, the Convention has 53 signatories, including the United States, China and India.
  • Ratification: 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.
  • How it will benefit International Business
    • 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.
    • 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.

Why Singapore?

  • As adoption of the Convention becomes more prevalent globally, it will also strengthen Singapore’s position as an international dispute resolution centre 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.
  • 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.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, September, 2020