Arbitration is one of the peaceful means to resolve many disputes at the negotiating table and the United Nations has contributed significantly to the development of international arbitration, said the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, yesterday in his keynote address at the 23rd International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Congress. Mr Ban Ki-Moon is on a three-day official visit to Mauritius.
The Congress is being held from 8 to 11 May 2016 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles. In his address, he recalled that Mauritius was chosen as the host for the ICCA Congress because of the progress that Mauritius has made to improve its legal system for international arbitration and to position itself as a centre of excellence for international arbitration in Africa.
This progress includes the adoption of the International Arbitration Act 2008 (IAA), an advanced law based on the UNCITRAL Model Law, with further refinements to make the Mauritian legal system for international arbitration as supportive and attractive as possible. Mauritius has also put in place institutions and systems which support international arbitration, he said.
According to the Secretary-General, arbitration contributes to economic development, protects human rights and deepens partnerships of business community. It also helps the world to overcome hatred and upholds dignity, he added. According to him, a robust legal system ensuring the rule of law is often seen as a necessity both for economic development and the protection of human rights.
For his part, the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, pointed out that international arbitration is now the global dispute resolution mechanism. Mauritius has taken the lead in our region in this field, and has shown consistent determination and flexibility in improving our system to cater for international arbitration matters. This reflects our understanding of the importance of international arbitration. The effort made by Mauritius in the field of international arbitration is also part of a broder approach which underlies the development of our economy in recent decades, he said.
Speaking about the rule of law, the Prime Minister said that Mauritius has always been a country in which the respect for the rule of law has been deeply anchored in the Constitution as well as in the society. Our courts are fiercely independent, he said, and enjoy protections such as genuine and effective security of tenure, which allow them to do their work entirely free from outside influence.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth stressed that Africa has been an important participant in international arbitration proceedings in recent years and in this context, Mauritius is positioning itself to become a centre of excellence for international arbitration.
ICCA 2016 Mauritius: The first African ICCA Congress
Delegates from Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia are focusing on the subject of international arbitration and the rule of law. The Congress is serving as a platform to enable delegates to be up to date with the latest developments in the subject and to be involved in the discussions that will shape developments in the field in years to come.
The ICCA Congress is the largest regular conference devoted to international arbitration. It takes place every two years, on each occasion in a different city. The host city for the Congress is selected by ICCA on the grounds that it is a place which has made significant recent advancements as a venue and centre for international arbitration. The 2012 Congress, held in Singapore, and the 2014 Congress, held in Miami, each attracted over 1,000 delegates.
The Congress is a major academic and professional event, representing a significant milestone in the advancement of international arbitration law and practice. It includes presentations of papers from the leading experts in the field of international arbitration, as well as substantial opportunities for discussion and sharing of ideas.