Leading regional mediation centres ink groundbreaking MOU in Singapore to provide regional dispute resolution framework for Asian businesses

Singapore, 17 August 2007 – Five leading mediation centres have agreed to pool their resources to promote and facilitate the use of mediation to amicably settle the disputes of businesses operating in the region. Together, they will provide a regional dispute resolution infrastructure for conflict management and dispute resolution that will support the increasing cross-border investment and trade activities of the fast growing Asian economies.

The Hong Kong Mediation Centre, the Indonesian Mediation Center, the Malaysian Mediation Centre, the Philippine Mediation Center and the Singapore Mediation Centre have signed an MOU to form the Asian Mediation Association (AMA) 《亚洲调解协会》.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Honourable Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, the Honourable Attorney-General Chao Hick Tin and more than 150 other distinguished guests at the 10th Anniversary Gala Luncheon of the Singapore Mediation Centre in the Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore.

The MOU was signed by Ms. Sylvia Siu, JP, Chairman of Board of Governors,Hong Kong Mediation Centre; Mr. Denaldy M. Mauna, Chairman of Indonesian Mediation Centre; Datuk Haji Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari,Chairman of Malaysian Mediation Centre; Professor Emmanuel L. Caparas,Chairman, Court Technology Department, PHILJA, Appellate Court Mediator,Court of Appeals, representing the Philippine Mediation Centre and Justice Andrew Ang, Chairman, Singapore Mediation Centre.

In his welcome address, Justice Andrew Ang, Chairman, Singapore Mediation Centre said, "In the next decade, the SMC will intensify its efforts and work together with the best centres in Asia to create a framework for, and to facilitate, regional co-operation in the provision of conflict management for cross-border disputes. It will work together with these centres to set up common platforms for promoting the use of mediation, developing a culturally appropriate model of dispute resolution in Asia, and creating a system of case referral that will serve the best interest of businesses operating in the region."

The Secretariat of AMA will be established at the Singapore Mediation Centre,Singapore. AMA intends to bring on board more Asian members to widen its network of cooperation and is currently in talks with several other centres.

Among other things, the members of the AMA will establish a system for a member organisation to refer disputes to other member organisations in cases where a neutral venue for conflict management and resolution is required.For example, a dispute between a disputant from Member A’s country and another from Member B’s country may be referred for mediation at Member C. The members of the AMA will also co-operate in research and development to advance the field of mediation, and to develop a culturally appropriate model of conflict management and resolution for Asia.

Datuk Haji Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari, Chairman of Malaysian Mediation Centre said, "We are very pleased to be part of AMA. Mediation has long Asian roots. I believe that a concerted effort of the members of AMA will go a long way to developing an approach to resolving differences that is consistent with our Asian culture and values, and which will be welcomed by Asian businesses or others operating out of the region. I also believe that the strong bonds between the members will augur well for the future of mediation in
Asia."

The SMC 10th Anniversary Celebrations marked a decade of the SMC providing mediation and other related dispute resolution services since its launch on 16 August 1997. In recent years, SMC has also established a prominent presence in the international alternative dispute resolution community by providing consultancy and training and forming strong partnerships with its counterparts all over the world. The SMC has trained people from more than 50 countries.

About Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC)
Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) is a non-profit organisation established in 1997 to provide commercial mediation services. It is structured as a company limited by guarantee of the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL). With the support of the Singapore Judiciary, the SAL, the Ministry of Law and various professional and trade organisations, the SMC has successfully spearheaded the mediation movement in Singapore and continues to promote the use of mediation and other nonconfrontational dispute resolution methods. Over 1,300 civil disputes of all types and involving different quantum of claims (up to multi-million dollar disputes) have been referred for mediation at the SMC. An impressive 75% of these have successfully reached amicable settlements with more than 90% of these settled within one day. For more information on SMC, please visit http://www.mediation.com.sg/


About Hong Kong Mediation Centre (HKMC)
Hong Kong Mediation Centre (HKMC) is a company limited by guarantee and enjoys the status of a charitable institution recognized by the government. It is also the first non-profit corporate mediation institution with charitable institution status in Hong Kong. It is made up of a group of professionals interested in the promotion of mediation and other kinds of dispute resolution. HKMC is driven by its mission to practise, promote, develop and institutionalize mediation as a way of life so as to build up harmonious families, neighbours, workplaces, business communities, human relationships and societies in Hong Kong.


About The Indonesian Mediation Center (IMC)
The Indonesian Mediation Center (IMC) is an independent, non-profit Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) body dedicated to resolving commercial disputes and mediation training. Being staffed with experienced mediators drawn from diverse areas of law, banking, engineering and business, The Indonesian Mediation Center can provide the right mediator for any dispute and is recognized as the mediation leader in Indonesia. The establishment of a sustainable ADR facility in Indonesia is as a necessary complement to various policy initiatives aimed at revitalizing Indonesia's economy, especially in terms of stimulating businesses that are major participants in the chain of jobs creation, foreign direct investment, industrial orders
and production.


About Malaysian Mediation Centre (MMC)
Malaysian Mediation Centre (MMC) is a body established under the auspices of the Malaysian Bar Council with the objective of promoting mediation as a means of alternative dispute resolution and providing a proper avenue for successful dispute resolutions. The Centre offers mediation services and provides mediation training for those interested in becoming mediators and accredits and maintains a panel of mediators. Currently, MMC is made up of lawyers who have completed the training program for mediation and deals with civil, commercial and matrimonial matters and intends to expand the scope to other matters at a later stage.


About Philippine Mediation Center (PMC)
Pursuant to Supreme Court “en banc” Resolution A.M. No. 01-10-5-SC-PHILJA, dated October 16, 2001, and in line with the objectives of the Action Program for Judicial Reforms (APJR) to decongest court dockets, among others, the Court prescribed guidelines in institutionalizing and implementing the mediation program in the Philippines. The same resolution designated the Philippine Judicial Academy as the component unit of the Supreme Court for Court-Annexed Mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms, and established the Philippine Mediation Center (PMC). Pending the formal creation of a more organized and structured Philippine Mediation Center, a Mediation Division at the Judicial Reforms Office of the Philippine Judicial Academy-Supreme Court, was established to oversee and manage Mediation Center Units all over the country. Since its inception in 2001, the Mediation Center Units have grown from seventeen (17) units in the National Capital Region to One Hundred Thirteen (113) Units located in Ten (10) out of the Thirteen (13) Regions in the country.

Foo Kim Leng (Ms)
Senior Corporate Communications Manager
Tel: +65 63325365/96358850
Email: foo_kim_leng@sal.org.sg