Foreign Policy Watch: United Nations

[pib] UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Singapore Convention

Mains level : ADR mechanisms

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements (UNISA) resulting from mediation by the India.


  • The UN gen. assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation on 20th December 2018.
  • It is referred to as the “Singapore Convention on Mediation” (the Convention).
  • The Convention provides a uniform and efficient framework for the enforcement of international settlement agreements resulting from mediation and for allowing parties to invoke such agreements.
  • It is akin to the framework that the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958) (the “New York Convention”) which provides for arbitral awards.
  • The Singapore Convention defines two additional grounds upon which a court may, on its own motion, refuse to grant relief.
  • Those grounds relate to the fact that a dispute would not be capable of settlement by mediation or would be contrary to public policy.
  • The provisions of the ‘Convention’ are in line with India’s domestic laws and the efforts made to strengthen Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.


  • Signing of the Convention will boost the confidence of the investors.
  • It shall provide a positive signal to foreign investors about India’s commitment to adhere to international practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).


Initiatives to promote ADR Mechanisms in India

  • In order to encourage international commercial arbitration in India, to evolve a comprehensive ecosystem of arbitration the GoI is establishing the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) as a statutory body.
  • The Commercial Courts Act, 2015, has been further amended and legislative exercise to further amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, is currently underway.
  • These initiatives are being taken with a view to encourage the settlement of commercial disputes, domestic and international, in India through ADR Mechanism of Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation.
  • A new Chapter (IIIA) has been inserted in the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, for mandatory pre-institution mediation and settlement in certain category of cases.
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