MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 July 2019) — Papua New Guinea (PNG) has become the 160th country to accede to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, known as the New York Convention.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in conjunction with the UN Commission on International Trade Law, has advised the PNG government on the accession process, and is providing ongoing advice on the implementation of national legislation and capacity building for PNG’s judiciary as well as public and private sector lawyers.

“ADB is pleased to support the Government of PNG in this important reform. A capable, fair, and reliable mechanism for resolving international commercial disputes is essential to facilitating investment, trade, and finance. We congratulate PNG for taking this important step,” ADB General Counsel Mr. Christopher Stephens said.

The New York Convention is one of the most successful multilateral conventions in history and is widely credited with making international arbitration a popular method of resolving cross-border commercial disputes. It requires courts of contracting countries to give effect to arbitration agreements and to recognize and enforce awards made in other countries, subject to specific limited exceptions. The convention has been ratified by the world’s largest trading countries, including all of PNG’s key trading partners.

PNG announced its intention to accede to the New York Convention at the Second South Pacific International Arbitration Conference held in Port Moresby on 25–26 March 2019, supported by ADB. The government moved swiftly to join the global arbitration community having deposited the instrument of accession with the UN Treaty Office on 17 July 2019.

The reform is part of an ADB technical assistance project for the Promotion of International Arbitration for a Better Investment Climate in the South Pacific run by the ADB Office of the General Counsel’s Law and Policy Reform Program. The project is led by ADB Principal Counsel Ms. Christina Pak.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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