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Energy Charter Treaty Forum 2019 in Singapore

On 20 November 2019, the Singapore office of the Permanent Court of Arbitration hosted an international event promoting awareness about the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) in South East Asia. The event was held in cooperation with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Ministry of Law of Singapore. Under the headline, The Promise of Arbitration: Enhancing International Peace, Cooperation and Sustainability through Dispute Settlement, governmental officials, legal practitioners and academia discussed issues of governance and innovative approaches in dispute settlements in global and regional contexts. 

Specific focus was given to the Model Instrument on Management of Investment Disputes (which also contains provisions on prevention of disputes) drafted by the Energy Charter Secretariat in 2018 in consultation with government officials and dispute resolution institutions. Participants highlighted its practical value for improving governance of the dispute in different countries and its importance for ECT Members and beyond as it is applicable to the management of any investor-state related disagreement. Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, Asian infrastructure development and stakeholder involvement in energy and natural resource disputes also attracted interest from participants.

On the margin of the Forum, Energy Charter Secretary General Dr Urban Rusnák and PCA Secretary General H. Siblesz signed a Memorandum of Understanding on mutual cooperation between both institutions. During the visit to Singapore Dr Rusnák discussed with Mr Edwin Tong S.C., Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Health, potential involvement of Singapore into the Energy Charter Process. The Republic of Singapore is actively promoting itself as a one of global centers for dispute resolution in both commercial and treaty disputes.