Singapore and Fiji are the first two countries to deposit the instrument of ratification of the Singapore Convention on Mediation

Posted in News February 26, 2020

Singapore and Fiji are the first two countries to deposit their respective instruments of ratification of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation (“the Convention”) at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.

On the morning of 25 February (GMT-5), Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Health, Mr Edwin Tong SC, and the Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Fiji to the United Nations, Mr Satyendra Prasad, were at the UN Headquarters for a handover ceremony with the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel, Mr Miguel de Serpa Soares.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law & Ministry of Health Edwin Tong (left) presents instruments of ratification to UN Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares while David Nanopoulos of the Office of Legal Affairs looks on. Photo: UN

The Singapore Convention on Mediation Act 2020 (“the Act”) was passed in Parliament earlier this month and assented to by the President, just six months after the Singapore Convention Signing Ceremony and Conference held in Singapore on 7 August 2019. The introduction of the Act, which gives effect to the Convention, is a significant step in Singapore’s overall efforts to strengthen its international commercial dispute resolution framework.

Forty-six countries, including the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China, and three of the four largest economies in Asia, China, India and South Korea, signed the Convention on the day it opened for signature, while another 24 countries attended the signing ceremony to show their support for the Convention. Subsequently, six more countries signed the Convention, bringing the total number of signatory countries to 52.

Ambassador Satyendra Prasad (left) of Fiji presents instruments of ratification to UN Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares. At right is David Nanopoulos of the Office of Legal Affairs. Photo: UN

The Convention will enter into force six months after the third State deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance and approval or accession.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Health, Mr Edwin Tong 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 closer to seeing the Convention enter into force. Singapore is committed towards 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.”

Source: Ministry of Law, Singapore