More than 50 countries in Singapore on Aug 7 to Support New Mediation Treaty

  1. Ministers and senior officials from more than 50 countries will gather in Singapore to support a new international treaty on mediation when it opens for signature on 7 August 2019. The United Nations (UN) Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, also known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation, will provide for the cross-border enforcement of mediated settlement agreements, give businesses greater certainty and assurance, and facilitate international trade and commerce. The Convention was adopted by consensus at the UN General Assembly on 20 December 2018. It will be the first UN treaty to be named after Singapore.
  2. The Singapore Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) will be organising the signing ceremony and a conference in conjunction with it. To mark the historic signing of the new international treaty, Singapore Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam and the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Stephen Mathias will jointly name an orchid. This will be the first international treaty to have a flower named after it. MinLaw today also launched the logo for the Singapore Convention: an orchid in vibrant colours brought together by a little red dot connecting conversations.
  3. The Singapore Convention Signing Ceremony and Conference will be part of a series of related events which will take place during the Singapore Convention Week from 2 to 8 August 2019, including the official launch of the INSOL Asia Hub in Singapore, the inaugural International Bar Association (IBA) Asia Pacific Arbitration Conference and the grand opening of Maxwell Chambers Suites. Together with the Singapore Convention on Mediation, these initiatives will give a further boost to Singapore’s position as a leading international legal hub in Asia, and the world.

    Singapore Convention Signing Ceremony and Conference

  4. MinLaw and UNCITRAL will be holding the Singapore Convention Signing Ceremony and Conference at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore on 6 – 7 August 2019. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, United Nations, will deliver the formal addresses at the conference. Topics to be discussed include emerging issues relating to business, international trade law and dispute resolution, the rise of mediation as an alternative way to resolve dispute resolution and the future of international dispute resolution. Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat will deliver the keynote address at the gala dinner that evening.
  5. On the side of the conference, the Ministers and senior officials will participate in a Singapore Convention Roundtable chaired by Minister Shanmugam on the topic “Building Trust, Enabling International Trade”. They will discuss what governments can do to build and strengthen trust in order to sustain growth amidst global uncertainties, the importance of multilateralism and the international rule of law, and the contribution of the Singapore Convention on Mediation.
  6. The Ministers and senior officials will meet PM Lee and DPM Heng respectively. They have also been invited to the launch of the INSOL Asia Hub and the opening of Maxwell Chambers Suites, and to visit the Singapore Bicentennial Experience and the Singapore City Gallery. The Ministers will also attend the National Day Parade at the Padang, hosted by Singapore Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.
  7. Over 1,500 delegates are expected to attend the Singapore Convention Signing Ceremony and Conference and related events during Singapore Convention Week. They include prominent judges, senior partners of major law firms, other senior practitioners, scholars, Presidents of Law Associations, Courts and Boards of top dispute resolution institutions, General Counsel of large MNCs and business leaders. A series of Experience Singapore programmes will be organised for the foreign delegates to introduce them to Singapore. They will be hosted by some 50 Junior College students from some 13 schools who will serve as Singapore Convention Youth Ambassadors as part of a youth involvement programme. More than 40% of the foreign delegates have signed up for these programmes, extending their stay in Singapore.

    Official Opening of INSOL Asia Hub

  8. On 5 August 2019, INSOL will be opening its Asia Hub in Singapore. More than 100 insolvency professionals, including legal practitioners, accountants, consultants, banks, distressed debt funders, third party funders, judges, and government officials are expected to attend the event.
  9. INSOL is a worldwide federation of 44 member associations, with over 10,500 restructuring and insolvency professionals as members. It is at the forefront of education and technical training for practitioners, and assists in the development of countries’ restructuring and insolvency systems. INSOL’s Asia Hub in Singapore will be its first overseas office since it was established in London in 1982.
  10. With recent legislative reforms Singapore now has one of the most forward-looking, balanced and flexible debt restructuring regimes in Asia. The enhanced regime strikes an appropriate balance between stakeholders’ interests – enabling companies to restructure successfully while protecting creditors’ rights. Singapore also won the “Most Improved Jurisdiction” at the inaugural Global Restructuring Review Awards in 2017. INSOL’s presence will add to the vibrancy and development of this sector in Singapore and in the region.

    Inaugural IBA Asia Pacific Arbitration Conference

  11. On 6 August 2019, the International Bar Association will hold in Singapore its inaugural Asia Pacific Arbitration Conference. Established in 1947, the IBA is a leading professional organisation with a reach of more than 80,000 international lawyers and 190 bar associations from some 170 countries. It provides assistance to the global legal community, and through its global membership, influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world.
  12. This inaugural conference is presented by the IBA Arbitration Committee and the Asia Pacific Arbitration Group, supported by the IBA Asia Pacific Regional Forum. Singapore was chosen as the first stop for this new annual event on IBA’s calendar. The conference will feature 17 prominent speakers from 8 cities around the world. About 100 legal and arbitration practitioners, arbitrators, in-house counsel, and government officials are expected to attend the event at Maxwell Chambers.

    Grand Opening of Maxwell Chambers Suites

  13. On 8 August 2019, Maxwell Chambers Suites, an extension of Maxwell Chambers, will officially open. Established in 2010, Maxwell Chambers was the world’s first integrated dispute resolution complex, housing both purpose-built hearing facilities for arbitration and mediation, as well as offices for dispute resolution institutions and firms. Its extension, Maxwell Chambers Suites, was constructed to meet growing demand for dispute resolution work, and further expand the eco-system of legal service providers that use Singapore as a base to service the region. Dedicated to housing dispute resolution institutions and firms, the beautifully conserved building will add 120,000 square feet of floor space and triple the complex’s capacity. Over 300 foreign ministers, chief justices, attorney-generals and heads of delegation, as well as local and international legal and dispute resolution practitioners, in-house counsel, C-suite executives and government officials are also expected to attend the event.
  14. At its launch, Maxwell Chambers Suites will house 20 dispute firms and 11 international institutions. Five of the 11 international institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, will have their case management offices in the building, giving Maxwell Chambers Suites the highest concentration of case management offices in the world.