SINGAPORE, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- International commercial mediation will take off as the Singapore Convention on Mediation is scheduled to open for signature on Wednesday, a Singaporean official said here Tuesday.
Edwin Tong, senior minister of state of the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Health of Singapore, made the remarks while officiating at the Mediation: A New Era Forum.
The forum is part of the Singapore Convention Week from Aug. 2 to Aug. 8 to mark the planned signing of the Singapore Convention on Mediation, which was adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in December last year and became the first convention named after Singapore in the framework of the UN.
According to Tong, more than 30 countries will sign the convention on Wednesday, thus promoting the use of mediation as another means of solving international commercial disputes besides litigation and arbitration.
While there are relevant conventions for international litigation and arbitration, the Singapore Convention on Mediation has just come in time, he added.
In Tong's opinion, mediation saves time and cost as well as preserves the commercial linkages, but lack of familiarity with mediation and lack of enforcement of mediated settlement agreements have hindered its popularity in the past.
However, the new convention will "fundamentally address the two key obstacles," Tong said.
Viewing the signing of Singapore Convention on Mediation as a good start for the usage of mediation in dealing with commercial disputes, he cautioned that more needs to be done.
The senior minister of state urged more countries to sign the convention to make it more effective among the international community. He also encouraged more businesses to consider mediation as an option when faced with commercial disputes. He also expressed hopes that a strong pool of mediation institutions and practitioners who understand how the disputes arise will be built up.
During the forum, the Singapore International Mediation Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) to jointly promote international commercial mediation.
CIETAC Vice Chairman Wang Chengjie noted that his organization is willing to employ mediation as another means of solving commercial disputes so as to meet the diversified needs of their clients.