See our pre-Convention warning here: www.gibsondunn.com/singapore-convention-on-mediation-and-the-path-ahead/. Where a state has ratified the convention, the Convention stipulates that a court of justice (or any other competent authority) implements an international dispute settlement agreement in that state, in accordance with the convention and its own internal settlement, without the parties being obliged to initiate a new procedure because of its recognition and enforcement. To the extent that the transaction agreement is within the scope of the agreement, the negotiated regime can also be invoked by the parties as a defence in order to avoid further litigation or arbitration in a matter already settled by the agreement. On the first day of the signing of the Singapore Agreement (August 7, 2019), 46 states, including the United States, Singapore and China, signed the agreement. There were 53 in January 2020. At the time of the letter (October 2020), six of these signatories ratified the convention (Singapore, Qatar and Fiji, for which the convention came into force on 12 September 2020, followed by Saudi Arabia in November 2020, Belarus in January 2021 and Ecuador in March 2021).  None of the EU Member States or the EU itself has yet signed the convention.  Similarly, according to a statement of principles by the British Government in June 2020 and the parliamentary discussions that followed in September 2020, no formal decision has yet been taken on the UK`s accession to the Convention.  In addition, Article 5 of the Singapore Convention includes a defence similar to that of the defence under Article V of the New York Convention, including the defence of (i) the inability to enter into an arbitration agreement and (ii) where the subject matter of the dispute is not in a position to settle by arbitration (mediation) under the law of the country where recognition or enforcement is sought. In addition, the Singapore Agreement also contains a provision that reflects the defence of application by the New York Convention: (iii) the defence of “public order”.  However, please note that Member States benefit from the 2008/52/EC Mediation Directive, which allows cross-border transaction agreements to be applied by the national courts of EU Member States.
The United States first launched a proposal in 2014 to develop a multilateral agreement for the codification of international trade agreements through mediation. Prior to the entry into force of the Singapore Convention on Mediation, the only multilateral legal instruments for the settlement of international trade disputes were the various international litigation instruments under the Hague Convention on Private International Law and the New York Convention, which provided for arbitration proceedings in such disputes. However, it is not clear how the courts will set out the Singapore Convention or how often it is invoked in practice. As one commentator notes, a 500-member poll from the region, commissioned in 2016 by the Singapore Academy of Law, showed a clear preference for international trade arbitrations, with 71% preference for arbitrations, 24% in favour of mediation.