It is time for reflection and looking forward as the year comes to a close and we get ready for the holiday season in my part of the world. There is much to celebrate from the viewpoint of the International Mediation Institute (IMI). To name a few – the Global Pound Conference (GPC) series was launched in the first quarter and is progressing quickly to engage stakeholders throughout the world; new Board members joined IMI, broadening our diversity; IMI published its 2016 Biennial Census Survey; talks continue in Working Group II to explore the adoption of an instrument to enforce mediation settlements for cross border disputes; and IMI established criteria for mediators resolving Investor State Disputes. Let’s celebrate these accomplishments.
The Global Pound Conference Series
The Series was launched in Singapore and since that time events were held in Lagos, Mexico City, New York City, Geneva, Toronto, and Madrid. In total 41 events have been planned in 31 countries. We promised a unique event to engage stakeholders in a modern conversation about the future of dispute management and resolution and we delivered through the hard work of many people on the ground. We started to collect information about what is being currently delivered to stakeholders, but more important, what they want in the future. In reviewing the information collected in very different locations, we find that there are many similarities in viewpoint. This intelligence will help shape the processes to meet stakeholder needs. We encourage you to review the reports from each event by going to: http://globalpoundconference.org/gpc-series-data/local-voting-results
In 2017 GPC events are planned in 35 cities so far. Please sign up for notifications about scheduled events at: http://www.globalpoundconference.org/conference-series/attend-a-gpc-series-event
Thank you to all of our Sponsors for making these events a reality. Special thanks for the Diamond Sponsors HSFand SIDRA and Platinum Sponsor PWC. A list of Sponsors and Sponsorship opportunities can be found at: http://globalpoundconference.org/supporters-(2)/global-sponsors
In order to continue the promise, we need you to engage users of dispute management and resolution processes to attend the events. Please invite your colleagues and clients.
We hope to see you at one or more of the GPC events.
The IMI Board
The IMI face-to-face Board meeting was held this year in London on May 23-24, 2016.
This year’s meeting marshalled the addition of Board members expanding our focus. Four new Board members were elected. They are:
Cyril Dumoulin – Senior Legal Counsel at Shell’s Global Litigation Department (Europe & Middle East North Africa).
Silvia Garrigo – Senior Of Counsel, Morrison, Foerster LLP.
Susanne Gropp-Stadler – Lead Counsel Litigation with Siemens AG.
Sriram Panchu – President of Indian Mediation Association.
We are grateful for the passion and energy of the Board members who retired in 2016 and plan to retire at the beginning of 2017:
Diana Wallis, Former Vice President of European Parliament.
Doug McKay, Vice President of International Organisations at Shell International.
Shawn Conway, Managing Partner of the law firm Conway & Partners, Advocaten & Attorneys-at-law, based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Ute A. Joas Quinn, Associate General Counsel at Hess Services UK Ltd. ADR and community grievance mechanisms in legal upstream operations in Europe, Middle East and North Africa.
2016 International Mediation and ADR Survey
The results of the IMI 2016 International Mediation and ADR Survey are now published on the IMI Portal: https://imimediation.org/imi-2016-biennial-census-survey-results
815 participants completed this census survey, including mediation users, mediators, advisors, educators, students, providers and other stakeholders. The survey was designed to gather census data as well as views about Mediation and ADR awareness.
As IMI approaches its 10th anniversary, this information (and the many additional written comments submitted with this survey as well as the data collected through the GPC) will help us to prioritise efforts to raise the profile of mediation and ADR around the world.
We very much appreciate the time and participation of all survey respondents as well as the tireless work of Ute. A. Joas Quinn and the volunteers who were part of the IMI Survey Taskforce – Khory McCormick (Australia), M.Salman Ravala (USA) and Christiane Rosenbaum (USA-Germany).
Enforcing Cross Border Commercial Mediation Settlements
UNCITRAL’s Working Group II has been exploring whether to adopt an instrument to enforce cross border commercial mediation settlement agreements. IMI participates in the deliberations by providing information and intelligence about how the mediation process works and why mediation users need such an instrument. The dialogue has been vigorous and we see that much more work needs to be accomplished before a decision is made. The next meeting is scheduled at the United Nations in New York City February 6-10.
We are conducting a survey to explore the views of businesses on whether and how cross-border settlements reached through mediation can be enforceable around the world. Delegates to the UNCITRAL Working Group II meetings are interested in this input to help them make informed decisions in their work on a proposed instrument by having direct input from parties involved in cross-border disputes. We reach out to you and/or your business colleagues and clients to express the views and share experiences by participating in this short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IMI-Enforceability-Survey-for-UNCITRAL
Please encourage other business users of dispute resolution services to complete the survey by sending them the link. In order to obtain a purely commercial viewpoint, the survey should be completed only by in-house business attorneys or executives, not their advisers or other third parties.
We very much appreciate your help and look forward to hearing from you.
Investor State Competency Criteria
In September, IMI announced the establishment of Investor State Mediator competency criteria – see: https://imimediation.org/imi-introduces-competency-criteria-for-investor-state-mediators
The aim of the criteria is to assist parties, institutions, designating authorities and other appointing bodies in selecting competent and suitable mediators/co-mediators, to assist the resolution of disputes between private sector entities and States, by creating or developing criteria that can help inform and guide their choices.
The IMI Criteria will be piloted by relevant organisations and practitioners involved in investor-state dispute resolution and reviewed in 2017. The Task Force will be working with the pilot programs, investors and States to promote the use of mediation in Investor-State disputes and negotiations with the help of the newly developed Criteria.
During the last decade IMI grew steadily by creating a cadre of competent and experienced mediators and bringing transparency and awareness to the mediation process.
Today there are 475 IMI Certified mediators in Africa (Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya), Asia (China, HK, India, Malaysia, Singapore), Australia and New Zealand, Europe (Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Russia), Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico), North America (Canada, US), and Israel. Demographically by gender, 64% are male and 36% are female.
IMI approved 40 Qualifying Assessment Programs in 22 countries including Albania, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal/Brasil, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, and the United States.
Young Mediators Initiative (YMI) includes 106 members from Andorra, Egypt, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Spain, UK, Argentina, Venezuela, Canada, US, Colombia; and 18 active YMI Mentors are from Belgium, Canada, France, Hungary, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, The Netherlands, UK and the US.
In closing, 2017 will prove to be an even more active year. We expect that the information collected through the Global Pound Conference coupled with the 2016 Census Survey will form the base to set a strategy for improving access to justice and developing the dispute resolution field and of course the future of IMI and our community.
Thank you for being part of this historic review and for your support of IMI. We welcome your ideas and suggestions – so please keep them coming.
All of us associated with IMI wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.
Chair of the Board
International Mediation Institute