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United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements

  • 01 Aug 2019
  • 3 min read

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

  • United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements is scheduled to be signed at Singapore on 7th August, 2019, or at the United Nations.


  • Until the adoption of the convention, the often-cited challenge to the use of mediation was the lack of an efficient and harmonized framework for cross-border enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from mediation.
    • In response to this need, the convention has been developed and adopted by the General Assembly.
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation ("the Convention") on 20th December 2018.
  • The General Assembly authorized that the convention will open for signature on 7th August 2019 in Singapore and will be known as the "Singapore Convention on Mediation" (the Convention).


  • Signing of the convention will boost the confidence of the investors and 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

  • New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Bill, 2019, seeks to establish a New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) as a statutory body.
    • Earlier, the Committee chaired by Justice B.N. Srikrishna ("Srikrishna Report") to review the institutionalization of arbitration in India had recommended the establishment of NDIAC.
    • NDIAC will conduct arbitration, mediation and conciliation proceedings.
  • The Commercial Courts Act, 2015, has been further amended and legislative exercise to further replace the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 with The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018 is currently underway.
  • Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018 has been passed by Lok Sabha to resolve commercial disputes worth Rs 3 lakh or more.
  • Several measures have been taken by the Ministry of Law and Justice to introduce Online Dispute Resolution mechanism.


  • The Convention has been designed to become an essential instrument in the facilitation of international trade and in the promotion of mediation as an alternative and effective method of resolving trade disputes.
  • It also contributes to strengthening access to justice, and to the rule of law.
  • The 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 Convention ensures that a settlement reached by parties becomes binding and enforceable in accordance with a simplified and streamlined procedure.

Source: PIB

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