A Fourth-Anniversary Update on the Singapore Convention on Mediation
The Singapore Convention on Mediation, formally known as the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, this week marked the fourth anniversary of its Aug. 7, 2019, signing.
This fourth year has been marked by notable developments including, in the spring, the United Kingdom’s signing.
The Convention’s primary objective is to foster mediation use as a means to address international commercial disputes. It achieves this by establishing a cohesive framework for enforcing international settlements that arise from international commercial mediation, similar to what the 1958 New York Convention did for arbitration and enforcement of arbitral awards.
As a matter of fact, this Convention ensures that mediation settlements falling within its scope can be directly enforced in signatory nations without requiring court judgments for breach of the settlement. Currently, the Convention boasts 56 signatories, and has been enacted in 10 countries.
Uruguay ratified the Convention in March 2023, and set its entry into force next month--on Sept. 28. This ratification carries significant weight, as Uruguay possesses a robust economy, thus solidifying a substantial Latin American bloc with Ecuador and Honduras as fellow ratifiers.
The United Kingdom signed onto the Singapore Convention in May 2023, a move that holds particular importance. This event is expected to have a positive impact on the U.K. mediation market, enhancing the nation’s mediation prominence especially because no European Union member-state has signed the Convention.
While the repercussions of the Convention’s signing for the U.K.’s mediation market remain to be seen, its symbolic significance is undeniable. The nation’s commitment to becoming a hub for swift and efficient dispute resolution is evident from the signing, underscoring its readiness to adopt a leading role next to two of the world’s largest economies–China and the United States–and three of the Asia’s four largest economies–in addition to China, India and South Korea–that signed the Convention in 2019.
Simultaneously, the Convention gains further authority and influence with the addition of a crucial signatory like the U.K. In this role, the United Kingdom sets an encouraging example for other countries and contributes to the development, interpretation, and application of the Convention’s provisions.
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The author graduated in June with an LLM from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.