April 30 th 2007. The International Mediation Institute (IMI) has been…

April 30 th 2007. The International Mediation Institute (IMI) has been created in The Hague, The Netherlands as the first global non-profit non-governmental organization that will enable certifications of the competency of mediators worldwide. IMI will launch in October 2007 and will immediately begin to arrang e competency certifications. A Consultation Period started today, permitting all interested parties to participate in this initiative. Updated information on the development could be obtained at www.imi-mediation.org

IMI was created through a joint initiative of three leading dispute resolution bodies:

International Centre for Dispute Resolution ® /American Arbitration Association ®
Netherlands Mediation Institute
Singapore Mediation Centre/Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

IMI will also be an international resource and connectivity centre for Certified Mediators and leading mediation bodies around the world. IMI does not intend to make referrals to individual mediators, nor provide any dispute resolution services.

William K. Slate II , President and CEO of the American Arbitration Association observed: The establishment of the IMI will directly respond to the growing business need for qualified, competent mediators on a global scale. We are pleased to collaborate with the additional founding organizations in its launch and support its public service mission .

Annette van Riemsdijk , Board Member of the Netherlands Mediation Institute NMI and Chair of the NMI International Affairs Committe e commented: NMI successfully pioneered mediator certifications in The Netherlands and remains the only body doing so nationally. We offer our experience to support IMI globally.

Lawrence Boo , Deputy Chair of Singapore International Arbitration Centre welcomed the move as a giant step forward in enabling international businesses to have confidence in mediation by having confidence in mediators, in Asia and beyond.

L oong Seng Onn , Executive Director of Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC): As the leading mediation centre providing training, consultancy and mediation services in Singapore and the region, we feel that this initiative has come about at the right time. We believe that this initiative will enhance the professionalism of mediators and raise the profile of mediation in Asia. As a result, we hope that mediation will become the preferred means of dispute resolution in Asia.

Michael Leathes , executive director of IMI, believes that mediator certification is badly needed. Between now and when IMI is launched in October 2007, we will consult widely with constituencies all over the world who have already given this subject much thought. We need to establish competency standards at the right levels and stimulate a strong degree of understanding, trust and confidence in the minds of disputants and their advisers. Proper consultation with mediation bodies, mediators and others will ensure that this initiative gets off to a flying start later in the year.

About the American Arbitration Association ®
The global leader in conflict management since 1926, the American Arbitration Association is a not-for-profit, public service organization committed to the resolution of disputes through the use of arbitration, mediation, conciliation, negotiation, democratic elections and other voluntary procedures. In 2006, more than 137,000 cases were filed with the Association in a full range of matters including commercial, construction, labor, employment, insurance, international and claims program disputes. Through 29 offices in the United States, Ireland and Mexico, the AAA provides a forum for the hearing of disputes, rules and procedures and a roster of impartial experts to resolve cases. Find more information online at www.adr.org .

About the International Centre for Dispute Resolution ®
The International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) was established in 1996 as the international division of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) to further enhance the delivery of conflict resolution services around the globe. In May 2001, the ICDR opened a European office in Dublin, Ireland to better serve the growing number of users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As a full-service global conflict management provider, the ICDR administers worldwide dispute resolution proceedings under a set ofrules consistently applied by the ICDR, rather than under numerous sets of national rules applied by unfamiliar foreign court systems. Please visit www.icdr.org for more information

About the Netherlands Mediation Institute
The Netherlands Mediation Institute NMI is a not-for-profit, public service organization operating as a strictly independent quality assurance platform for mediation and mediators in the Netherlands. NMI provides a professional framework for mediation and mediators nationwide, consisting of:

– a solid mediation infrastructure through uniform mediation rules and model agreements;

– an independent quality assurance framework for mediators through training, continuous education and independent (ISO 17024 based) mediator certification;

– rules of conduct, complaints procedures and disciplinary rules;

– a public register of NMI-accredited mediators providing professional mediation services to interested parties.

Further, NMI supports and promotes professional development through publications (books, magazines, on line information) in the field of conflict management. NMI Certification is a requirement for admission to the court annexed and legal aid annexed mediation referral system in the Netherlands. Since the start of NMI in 1995, 35.000 cases have been filed by NMI-accredited mediators and the numbers are rapidly growing. NMI provides independent information on mediation to the public. More information at www.nmi-mediation.nl (English section available).

About the Singapore International Arbitration Centre
The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) is the leading arbitral institution in Asia. It offers parties a neutral and independent forum to resolve their commercial disputes and provides the necessary institutional support. Established in 1991, SIAC has administered over 1000 cases, involving parties from the Americas, Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. Two-thirds of these cases involve non-Singaporean parties. SIAC provides the following services: it helps parties to appoint their arbitrator when they are unable to agree; it manages all the financial accounts between parties and the arbitrator according to published transparent guidelines; it monitors and supervises the progress of the arbitration; and it assists parties in arranging the logistics, facilities and services for the arbitration. For more information, please visit www.siac.org.sg .

About the Singapore Mediation Centre
The Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC), the leading mediation centre in Singapore and the region, offers dispute resolution services, conducts training courses and provides consultancy services in dispute management. Established in 1997, SMC has successfully spearheaded the mediation movement in Singapore and continues to promote the use of mediation and other non-confrontational dispute resolution methods in Singapore and the region. Over 1,300 domestic and international disputes of all types have been referred to SMC for mediation, some involving multi-million dollar claims. Of the cases mediated, 75% are settled, and of these, more than 90% are settled within one day. SMC’s panel of mediators and neutrals are distinguished and highly qualified individuals who have been rigorously trained. They bring with them a wealth of experience in helping disputants come up with practical solutions to complex commercial disputes. For more information on SMC, please visit www.mediation.com.sg .

For more information, please visit www.IMImediation.org

Media Contacts: US: Wayne Kessler +1 212 716 3975
Netherlands: Annette van Riemsdijk +31 6 21 284 804
Singapore: Sabiha Shiraz +65 6334 1277
International: Irena Vanenkova +7 926 116 4714

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