The Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA) represented the Kingdom of Bahrain at a ceremony organized for the signing of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation ("Singapore Convention on Mediation") at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore on 6-7 August 2019. Bahrain's delegation was headed by BCDR-AAA's chief operating officer Mr. Ahmed Husain.
The signing ceremony itself took place on the morning of 7 August 2019 under the patronage of Singapore's Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, who was joined by H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by video link for the opening address. Forty-six countries then signed the Convention, which aims to facilitate the cross-border enforcement of mediated settlements.The signing ceremony was accompanied by a program of events for the representatives of participating countries. These included a roundtable chaired by Singapore's Minister of Law and of Home Affairs, H.E. Mr. K Shanmugam SC, and attended by Mr. Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs of the United Nations, and Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret, Secretary-General of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as well as the representatives of the sixty-two participating countries. The roundtable underlined the importance of the Convention and of mediation in the settlement of disputes and in maintaining relations between parties in conflict.The day's events ended with a gala dinner at which Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, H.E. Mr. HENG Swee Keat, delivered the concluding keynote speech. He assured participants of Singapore's commitment to the Convention and wish to see it implemented as widely as possible at international level.
BCDR-AAA has itself recently issued new mediation rules, which came into effect on 1 July 2019 and are available in Arabic, English and French. These new rules promise to be an important addition to the legal framework for mediation in the MENA region. Together, the Singapore Convention on Mediation and the 2019 BCDR-AAA Mediation Rules have the potential to reshape the scene for alternative dispute resolution, offering players in the global economy the possibility of settling their disputes at a far lower cost than by other, more conflictual methods of dispute resolution and with improved prospects of certainty and effectiveness if the terms of a settlement agreement need to be enforced.