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United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Hong Kong Mediation Centre and International Dispute Resolution & Risk Management Institute co-host city’s first International Dispute Resolution Conference 2019

Experts in conflict resolution gathered to promote a “New Era of Global Collaboration”

 

HONG
KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 17 April
2019 -
Hong
Kong Mediation Centre played host to the city's first International Dispute
Resolution Conference 2019 -- a vital global summit co-hosted alongside the United
Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the International
Dispute Resolution & Risk Management Institute (IDRRMI), and in collaboration
with the Department of Justice of HKSAR Government ("DoJ"). This event was
funded by the Professional Services Advancement Support Scheme of the
Government of the HKSAR.

 

More
than 25 international and regional dispute resolution experts, practitioners,
academics, judges and senior government officials delivered presentations and
participated in panel talks during the inaugural event, which took place on April 17.

 

Hong
Kong Mediation Centre welcomed more than 850 participants to learn more about
the emerging risks, trends and solutions for commercial, trading and investment
disputes among states, organisations, businesses and individuals.

 

"Globalization
beings with rapid increases in trading and investment collaborations, which
carry the inevitable risk of creating conflict," said Dr Francis Law, President
of Hong Kong Mediation Centre, and Chairman of IDRRMI. "As a leading
international dispute resolution centre and a hub for global business and
investment, Hong Kong has an invaluable role to play in serving as a cross-border
risk management, deal-making and disputes resolution services centre in the
Greater Bay Area, Belt and Road Countries and worldwide. 

 

"That
was why the decision was made jointly by the UN, IDRRMI and Hong Kong Mediation
Centre to work together in organising this first-of-a-kind conference in Hong
Kong."

 

The Secretary of UNCITRAL, and Director of the
Division on International Trade Law in the Office of Legal Affairs of the
United Nations, Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret shared her insights via a specially
prepared video. She expressed high appreciation for the work of HKMC, IDRRMI,
the Chinese Mainland Government and the Hong Kong SAR Government, acknowledging
the enormous support shown to UNCITRAL's work in harmonising and modernising
the national and regional regulations for international trade, and promoting
the United Nation Convention on Mediation. UNCITRAL was also represented in
person by Athita Komindr, head of the Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific.

 

"I wish
I could be in Hong Kong with you now to witness first-hand the great success of
this fully booked event, which I'm told numbers over 900 registered attendees --
far exceeding the initially planned attendance of 500 people," Ms. Anna
Joubin-Bret told the conference by video.

 

"This event is aptly titled New Era of Global Collaboration, and your
overwhelming interest underlines the critical importance of dispute resolution
as a legally enabling framework for trade and investment, for businesses and
governments alike. IDRC 2019 comes at a particularly important moment for mediation,
one of the main focuses of today, which is becoming an increasingly popular
tool for resolving disputes while persevering relationships."

 

The event began with an opening speech from
Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Opening remarks were also heard from H.E. Mr. XIE Feng, Commissioner, Office of
the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of
China (PRC) in the HKSAR, Mr. YE Jun, Deputy Director General of the Department
of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Commerce of the PRC (MOFCOM) and Mr Justice
Jeremy Poon, Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of the High Court,
Judiciary of the HKSAR. 

 

"Given
our status as a leading international dispute resolution centre in Asia
Pacific, I believe that Hong Kong is indeed the ideal location for this event,"
Mrs Lam told the audience. She said that  global collaboration is needed more than ever
to tackle the daunting challenges faced by the world and that an increase in
international trade and investment disputes seems to be inevitable given the
growth in cross-border economic activities and transactions, especially in
Asia.

 

"As an
international legal and dispute resolution services centre in the Asia Pacific
region, Hong Kong will continue to follow closely the development on
international mediation and arbitration, while embracing the immense
opportunities that may emerge," Mrs Lam said.

 

The
conference's keynote speech was delivered by Mr Rimsky Yuen, the DoJ's former
Secretary for Justice. DoJ's closing remarks were
delivered by Law Officer Ms Christian Cheung, marking the successful close of
the event.

 

In the
face of growing instability and potentially disruptive disputes, the UN
recently approved the Convention on International Settlement Agreements
Resulting from Mediation, a global framework for conflict resolution between
international and cross-border parties.

 

Widely
known as the "Mediation Convention", this global standard has opened up a
wealth of new professional and business opportunities in the dispute resolution
field. As a global hub for trade and finance, Hong Kong's integral role in
meeting this growing need was spelled out repeatedly at the first International
Dispute Resolution Conference 2019.

 

The
conference programme was split into four sessions gathering dozens of academics,
attorneys and experts to explore the following themes: "Trend of Using
International Dispute Resolution to Address Trade and Investment Disputes",
"Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation",
"State-to-State Dispute Resolution and Investor-State Dispute Resolution" and
finally "Mediation -- A Smart Way to Resolve International Intellectual Property
Disputes".

 

Dr
Francis Law shared his gratitude to all the day's participants and extended
apologies to the more than 500 unsuccessful applicants unable to be
accommodated at the conference -- pledging that the International Dispute
Resolution Conference will now be established as an annual event. "We are going
to organise this important event every year and welcome more international
dispute resolution professionals and traders to come to Hong Kong to join us,"
he added.

 

For additional details about the International Dispute
Resolution Conference 2019, please visit
http://www.mediationcentre.org.hk/tc/news/Newsview.php?id=278.

 

Please click here to
download more event photos.

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