Regional Conference on International Arbitration and Mediation in Minsk, Belarus

Draft Programme – Minsk, Belarus, 4-5 December 2018

Regional Conference on International Arbitration and Mediation


Regional Conference: CIS countries, countries-neighbours of Belarus and a number of European countries - members of UNCITRAL

DAY 1 – International Commercial Arbitration and Mediation

9:30 – 10:20 - Opening Speeches

  • 9:30-10:00

Welcome speech and inaugural speeches

Representatives of the Government of Belarus

UNCITRAL Representative – Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret, Director of the International Trade Law Division, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations and Secretary of UNCITRAL

  • 10:00 – 10:20

Key note speech:

A regional perspective on UNCITRAL contributions to the modernization and harmonization of the international legal framework on dispute settlement [Pierre Tercier, Professor, University of Fribourg, Switzerland - Honorary Chairman of the ICC International Court of Arbitration].


10:20 – 13:00 - New York Convention at 60

  • 10:20 – 11:30

International Perspective on the New York Convention

  • Presentation of the UNCITRAL Secretariat Guide on the New York Convention and the web platform: lessons learnt from the Guide - The New York Convention and International Arbitration Practice: Flexibility and Evolution [ Benjamin Siino, Shearman and Sterling Law Firm, Paris]
  • Trade law regulations through international arbitration [ Anna Joubin-Bret, UNCITRAL Secretariat]
  • Application of the 1961 European Convention on foreign trade arbitration and its relation to the New York Convention [Speaker from Belarus]

1 moderator and 4 panellists

10:30-11:00 – Networking Break

  • 11:00 – 12:30

Regional Perspective on the Application of a Universal Instrument: Presentation of case law from the Region covering, for instance:

  • General trends on requests for enforcement (profile of the cases; number of cases; areas affected) and on grounds for refusing enforcement [Annette Magnusson, Secretary General, Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce]
  • Enforcement of awards of the international arbitration courts in the Republic of Belarus, by Yuri Kobets, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus
  • Mechanisms of enforcement in foreign states of decisions of courts and state bodies, in particular related to levying of taxes, issues with violation of consumer rights, or concerning the foreign legal persons having established branches/subsidiaries [Speaker from Belarus].

Presentation by representatives of the judiciary in Belarus and identified countries: 1 Moderator and 3 panellists


12:30 – 13:00

General discussion and questions / answers session


14:00-17:30 – Alternative dispute settlement options

  • 14:00 – 15:30

International Commercial Mediation

  • Presentation of the new convention on mediation: purpose, articulation with other instruments; mechanism for enforcement under the convention; grounds for refusing enforcement; effect of reservations (Corinne Montineri, Secretary UNCITRAL Working Group II (Dispute Settlement), UNCITRAL Secretariat)
  • Enforcement of mediation agreements in commercial mediation at the national and international levels [Speaker from Belarus]



15:30-16:00 - Networking Break

  • 16:00-17:30

Practical tips on how to use mediation and arbitration

The panel could gather practitioners addressing how to draft dispute settlement provisions referring to both arbitration and mediation; how to use both mediation and arbitration in a dispute; the common features and differences of both dispute settlement mechanism; practical recommendations on using mediation and arbitration (including common mistakes when selecting mediation as a dispute settlement option; choice between arbitration or court; when arbitration is preferable and when not). This could be a round table format. (Exchange with the audience – Corinne Montineri as Moderator, Annette Magnusson, Pierre Tercier, and experts from Belarus on the panel)

DAY 2 – Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Issues

10:00 – 13:00 – Features of ISDS and experiences

  • 10:00-11:30

Comparative presentation of the current ISDS system: ICISD, UNCITRAL, Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (Anna Joubin-Bret and Annette Magnusson)


11:30-12:00 – Networking Break

  • 12:00-13:00

Questions of interest in the region, in light of investment treaties and trends in newly concluded treaties, and ISDS cases (Roman Zykov, Arbitration Practitioner, Russia; Jeremy Shape, Partner, Shearman and Sterling, London; international expert to be confirmed)



14:00 – 16:30 – Proposals for reform

Consideration of UNCITRAL Working Group III current work – the structure of the panel could be as follows:

  • Presentation of the current work of UNCITRAL and issues discussed, by Anna Joubin-Bret
  • Focus on specific issues (regarding for instance multiple proceedings, level of consistency in decisions made, question of predictability, practice of third party funding, arbitrators’ powers...) [Claudia Annacker, Cleary Gottlieb, Paris, and Barton Legum, Partner, Dentons Office]
  • Round table discussion on the desirability of reform and questions / answers session (Representative of Belarus at UNCITRAL Working Group III and Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret as moderators)