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“We Will Continue to Advance Growth of Commercial Dispute Management in Europe”

International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution convened the Second CPR European Business Mediation Congress in Brussels, Belgium, October 27-28, 2005.

“Progress starts with the exchange of ideas,” noted Thomas J. Stipanowich, CPR’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “In the world of business conflict, our job is fostering that exchange and documenting progress. Since last year’s inaugural Congress on European Business Mediation, we’ve seen extraordinary strides in the development of informal intervention strategies for resolving business disputes.”

During the two-day event expert panels were presented on such diverse topics as the state of teaching conflict management in European business and law schools, the use of
organizational ombudsmen to manage internal conflicts within corporations, the establishment of non-litigation expertise among leading European law firms, the provisions of pending legislation before the European Parliament, examples of mediation initiatives in specific industrial sectors, and the role of national courts in encouraging extra-judicial resolution of civil disputes.

“CPR has always relied upon the participation of intellectual leaders,” said Stipanowich. “The real success of the Brussels Congress can be measured by the stature of the participants.”

These included the former Lord Chief Justice of England, the Chief Justice of the Belgian Supreme Court, the President of the Civil Court of Paris, a member of the European Parliament, the Vice-Chair of British-based Corus Group, and more that two dozen representatives of other global corporations such as Alcan Inc., General Electric, Bechtel, Nestle, Novo Nordisk, Mars, International Monetary Fund, Basic Element Company (Russia), Siemens, Akzo Nobel, IKEA, Northrop Grumman, and Newell Rubbermaid.

The CPR European Business Mediation Congresses began in 2004 with an event held at The Hague, Netherlands. Current plans are to convene a third, even broader, gathering in Paris in October 2006. “Our hope is to structure an event for 2006 that will involve leadership from regions other than Europe and North America,” said Stipanowich, “and embrace issues beyond strictly commercial problems, in recognition of the global scale of conflict resolution in our times.”

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