The Singapore Convention on Mediation (the “Singapore Convention” or “Convention”) is a multilateral treaty which offers a uniform and efficient framework for the enforcement and invocation of international settlement agreements resulting from mediation. It applies to international settlement agreements resulting from mediation, concluded by parties to resolve a commercial dispute.
The Singapore Convention will facilitate international trade and commerce by enabling disputing parties to easily enforce and invoke settlement agreements across borders. Businesses will benefit from mediation as an additional dispute resolution option to litigation and arbitration in settling cross-border disputes. Signing the Convention is therefore a strong statement of a country’s commitment to trade, commerce and investment, and strengthens its position in the field of international trade law.
At its forty-seventh session in July 2014, the UNCITRAL Commission agreed that the Working Group II (Dispute Settlement) (“WGII”) should consider the issue of enforcement of international settlement agreements resulting from conciliation proceedings, and report to the Commission at its forty-eighth session, in 2015, on the feasibility and possible form of work in that area.
In July 2015, the Commission took note of the consideration of the topic by WGII, and agreed that WGII should commence work to identify relevant issues and develop possible solutions, including the preparation of a convention, model provisions, or guidance texts. The Commission also agreed that the mandate of WGII with respect to the topic should be broad, to take into account the various approaches and concerns. 85 Member States and 35 non-governmental organisations participated in the deliberations, which took place over six sessions. Through the deliberations, WGII reached a compromise on various issues, upon which the Commission expressed support for WGII to finalise its work by preparing: a draft convention on international settlement agreements resulting from mediation, as well as a draft amendment to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation (2002).
The Convention was finalised at the fifty-first UNCITRAL Commission session, which came to a close in July 2018. The amended Model Law (the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Mediation and International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (2018)) was also adopted at the same session.
UN General Assembly
In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly, by consensus, passed a resolution to adopt the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, recommended that the Convention be known as the “Singapore Convention on Mediation”, and authorised the signing ceremony of the Convention to be held in Singapore on 7 August 2019.
Status of Convention
46 countries, including the world’s two largest economies – the United States and China – as well as three of the four largest economies in Asia – China, India and South Korea – signed the Convention on the day it opened for signature. Another 24 countries attended the signing ceremony in Singapore to show their support for the Convention.
On 25 February 2020, Singapore and Fiji became the first two countries to deposit their respective instruments of ratification of the Convention at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. With the third instrument of ratification deposited by Qatar on 12 March 2020, the Convention entered into force on 12 September 2020.
As of [DATE], the Convention has 55 signatories, of which eight are parties to the Convention. A full list of signatories and parties to the Convention can be found here.