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Constructing the Convention on Mediation: The Chairperson's Perspective

Natalie Y Morris-Sharma

(2019) 31 SAcLJ 487

This article explores how the new United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, also known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation (“Singapore Convention”), was developed, through the lens of the chairperson of the negotiating process. It revisits the history of early discussions on an international mechanism for the enforcement of mediated settlement agreements, on which no real agreement could be reached. Fast-forwarding to more than a decade later, this article looks in particular at the five issues in the packaged deal that made the conclusion of negotiations on the Singapore Convention possible. Through an exploration of the considerations that went into finalising the most difficult issues through the compromise package, this article appreciates the considerations behind the construction of the Singapore Convention, and how the diversity of representatives and perspectives in the room was harnessed as a strength in favour of a more robust outcome.