China and US among 46 countries that signed an international treaty named after Singapore – here’s what it’s for

Among the other countries are India, South Korea and Singapore, which was also the first signatory of the document.
SPH CMG

China and the US have joined 44 other countries in signing the new Singapore Convention on Mediation on Wednesday (August 6).

Among the other countries are India, South Korea and Singapore, which was the first signatory of the document, also called the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements.

According to the Ministry of Law, the international treaty on mediation will enable the enforcement of mediated settlement agreements amongst the signatory countries.

Singapore was represented by Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam.

The first UN treaty named after Singapore, the Singapore Convention on Mediation was adopted by consensus at the UN General Assembly on December 20 last year.

In a statement, the ministry said that the treaty will “provide for the cross-border enforcement of mediated settlement agreements, give businesses greater certainty and assurance, and facilitate international trade and commerce”.

For the first time, an orchid was also named “Aranda Singapore Convention on Mediation” to mark the signing of the UN treaty.

Singapore and the UN also agreed to cooperate to set up the UNCITRAL Academy, which will organise in Singapore future instalments of the Singapore Convention Conference. The next Conference will be held on September 1 next year.

“This is a significant week for Singapore. We have the signing of the Singapore Convention, by 46 countries, showing immediate commitment to a rules based order in international trade. The EU and its member states also actively participated in the drafting of the Convention in the UN,” the Law Minister said.

According to Shanmugam, INSOL International – a worldwide federation of 44 member associations, comprising restructuring and insolvency professionals – has also launched its first overseas office outside of London, in Singapore, to serve as its Asian hub.

Not only that, the American Arbitration Association – International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR), is also set to open its Asia Headquarters and Case Management Centre in Singapore.

On Tuesday, the International Bar Association also held its inaugural Asia Pacific Arbitration Conference, while the refurbished Maxwell Chambers Suites – the world’s first integrated dispute resolution complex that houses the largest number of case management offices of dispute resolution institutions worldwide – will officially open on Thursday.

“All of this will help Singapore play an important role in helping in international business and finance flows,” Shanmugam said.