UN General Assembly adopts new convention on mediation involving international settlements

On December 21, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly has given its approval to a new “Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation,” which aims to answer past concerns by many countries over how to enforce mediation settlement agreements involving multiple countries.

UN member states will be able to sign the new convention in August 2019 in Singapore, after which the convention will be named. Under the convention, international mediation settlements will have a uniform framework to follow, and the outcomes will be enforceable per the rules of the convention.

The convention sets out agreed definitions and general principles, requirements for parties that are relying on these settlement agreements, the grounds under which a convention party can decide not to grant relief, parallel applications or claims that may affect relief, reservations, and interactions with other laws and treaties in the relevant parties.

The convention will enter into force six months after at least three countries have deposited the necessary ratification instruments. For each additional ratification, the convention will take effect in that country following a six-month window.