SMC and CTO sign MoU to jointly promote mediation services

CTO says Singapore is the ideal location to provide alternate dispute resolution services for the ICT sector in Asia-Pacific


Singapore, 2 November 2006 – Telecommunications and IT companies in the Asia- Pacific region will now have access to a new alternative mechanism for resolving disputes, it was announced today. The Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) have agreed to contribute their respective experiences to offer services to help minimise the impact of disputes arising between policy makers, regulators, operators and consumers.


An MoU to this effect was signed by Mr Loong Seng Onn, Executive Director of SMC and Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Chief Executive Officer of CTO.


The CTO, a UK based organisation has worked extensively on telecommunications and ICT projects with its member countries in Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Recognising the importance of resolving disputes quickly, effectively and economically, it has set up the CTO Alternate Dispute Resolution Centre to provide all types of dispute resolution services to the ICT sector which are an alternative to litigation.


SMC, a non-profit organisation under the Singapore Academy of Law has successfully spearheaded the mediation movement in Singapore. Since 1997, over 1,300 civil disputes of all types have been referred for mediation at the SMC.


Under the terms of the MoU, both the CTO and SMC will promote each other’s dispute resolution services. The two parties will also cross refer cases to one another when mediation services are required. SMC will also develop alternate dispute resolution (ADR) training programmes, seminars and workshops to cater to CTO’s requirements.


The MoU with SMC is CTO’s first collaboration with a mediation service provider outside of the United Kingdom. Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Chief Executive Officer of CTO said, “Our member countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and those in South East Asia will find Singapore an attractive location to hold mediation given the challenges presented within these countries and the dynamics between the
countries themselves. Singapore will also be a central and neutral venue for cross border disputes involving Japan, Korea and China. For those from the US, UK,France and Germany, Singapore presents a viable, low cost option compared to mediation in a western country.”


“Our collaboration with CTO will enable SMC to promote our mediation services globally. This is also in line with our government’s plan to promote Singapore as an ADR hub,” said Mr Loong Seng Onn, Executive Director of SMC. “CTO has extensive experience working with governments, regulators, telecom service
operators and other ICT stakeholders and SMC will definitely benefit from their expertise in dealing with all

types of telecommunications related disputes. CTO and SMC will also explore including ADR experts such as mediators and evaluators accredited by SMC in CTO’s panel of resource personnel.”

About SMC


The 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 non-confrontational 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 log on to http://www.mediation.com.sg/


About CTO


The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is an international development partnership between Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth governments, businesses and civil society Organisations focused on information and communication technologies (ICT) and development. The CTO supports the international community’s efforts to bridge the digital divide and promote social and economic development, by delivering to developing countries unique knowledgesharing programmes in the use of ICT’s in the specific areas of telecommunications, IT, broadcasting and the Internet.

Foo Kim Leng (Ms)

Corporate Communications Manager 
Singapore Mediation Centre Tel: +65 63325365

Email: foo_kim_leng@sal.org.sg

 

Mr Lasantha De Alwis
Senior Manager, Programmes

Tel. : +44 20 7930 5511
E-mail: l.dealwis@cto.int