The Singapore Mediation Convention: An Overview

At the 51st session of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on 25 June 2018, the final drafts for a Convention on the Enforcement of Mediation Settlements and the corresponding Model Law were approved. The drafts are now being referred to the Commission for adoption later this year. This is a huge step in encouraging the use of mediation on an international level, presenting it as a viable alternative to arbitration and litigation for certain disputes.

After three years of vigorous debate with participation by 85 member states and 35 IGOs/NGOs, the UNCITRAL Working Group II  has created an instrument which aims to implement an international regime for the enforcement of mediated settlements – similar to the 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention).

The Group also approved a resolution to name the Convention the “Singapore Mediation Convention”, with a signing ceremony expected in Singapore in 2019. In order for the Convention to come into force, it must be ratified by at least three member states.

Demand for enforcement of mediated settlements

The need for such a Convention stems from a wider concern over