SDG Business Forum Will Report on Private Sector Achievements

Following the success of last year’s inaugural forum, the second annual SDG Business Forum will take place at the United Nations on July 18, 2017 during the ministerial segment of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and the UN Global Compact, and organized in collaboration with the Global Business Alliance (GBA) for 2030 – including USCIB, the SDG Business Forum will convene leaders from business and government, together with the heads of UN agencies, key international organizations, and civil society groups to delve into the role business will play in delivering the 2030 Agenda.

Featuring a showcase review of business engagement on the 7 goals in focus at this year’s HLPF, as well as individual sessions examining investment, partnerships, and monitoring, this event will foster robust dialogue between governments and the private sector on critical issues and the way forward. The Forum will report on significant achievements and commitments undertaken by business and gauge private sector efforts to catalyze sustainable growth and development during this critical implementation phase. Ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations, the global business community is committed to contribute to the success of the 2030 Agenda and the realization of a long-lasting, prosperous future for all.

For more information and registration please visit: http://www.sdgbusinessforum.com/

Early Bird Registration: ICC New York Conference on International Arbitration

The ICC International Court of Arbitration will be holding its 12th ICC New York Conference on International Arbitration on September 27 at NYU’s School of Law. This annual event offers a forward-looking, dynamic program for law practitioners and business professionals alike. The full agenda is available here.

Session highlights:

  • NAFTA on the table
  • A duty to protect and secure: safeguarding confidential information in a digital world
  • Analysis or Advocacy: the use of experts in international arbitration
  • Turning an award into $$$$: strategies for enforcement

If you want to stay up-to-date with all recent arbitration developments in North America, this will be the ideal opportunity to interact directly with leading arbitration practitioners and experts.

The ICC Institute of World Business Law will also be organizing an advanced training on Drafting Enforceable Awards the day before, on September 26. Click here to view the program and speakers.

Package deals are available for the Conference + Training.
Make sure you register while the early bird is still applicable! The deadline for the early bird rate is July 28.

ICC and USCIB Host Singapore Minister to Discuss Trade Disputes in Asia

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah SC gives remarks

The ICC International Court of Arbitration and USCIB’s Arbitration Committee co-hosted Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah SC on May 22 in New York, attracting law professionals including arbitrators, counsel and academics. The keynote address was followed by a roundtable discussion of considerations when resolving disputes in Asia, such as when to litigate or arbitrate, the use of expedited procedure rules, investment treaty developments in the region and enforcement considerations in various jurisdictions.

“As economies in Asia continue to grow, dispute volume and complexity will rise,” said Minister Rajah in her remarks, which focused on Singapore as a place of arbitration.

Other panelists included Grant Hanessian, partner, Baker McKenzie, court member, ICC International Court of Arbitration and chair of the USCIB Arbitration Committee, Mevelyn Ong, associate, Sullivan & Cromwell and former deputy counsel, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Christopher K. Tahbaz, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Dan Tan, principal, Dan Tan Law and Edwin Tong, SC, partner, Allen & Gledhill LLP.

Giblin Attends ICC Customs, Trade Meetings in Dubai

USCIB’s Megan Giblin (center, second row) along with business colleagues from ICC-UAE in Dubai

USCIB’s Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin was in Dubai last week attending ICC-UAE and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry co-hosted Customs and Trade Facilitation Forum. The Forum discussed a wide range of topics including Trade Digitalization, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the Gulf Cooperation Council value-added Tax Implementation Framework.

The UAE was the first country in the Arab world to ratify the WTO’s TFA, which entered into force earlier this year and promises to boost global trade flows by over $1 trillion this year and generate opportunities for easier, less costly cross-border trade.

According to Giblin, this meeting was a tremendous opportunity for the international business community to discuss the role the private sector can play to ensure effective implementation of the TFA and its potential for investment and regional supply chains.

Upcoming Arbitration Events: Global YAF

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Global Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) Event:

ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC YAF) is organizing its 6th Global Conference in New York City on June 9-10, 2017 with a welcome reception on June 8. The conference will be hosted by Columbia Law School. The event will host preeminent speakers from Latin America, North America, Europe, Middle East and North Africa and Asia.

Additional program details, registration and a detailed agenda are available here.

Upcoming ICC Young Arbitrators Events

The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce is organizing two ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) events in New York and San Francisco. On May 1, ICC YAF is organizing an event on “Summary Adjudication in International Arbitration” in San Francisco which will feature a panel of young practitioners on the West Coast along with a presentation by the Counsel of the ICC’s North America case management team. You may register by contacting Melissa.bibbs@dlapiper.com.

The ICC YAF Global Conference will be held from June 9-10 in New York City at Columbia Law School with a welcome cocktail reception on June 8. The conference will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, debates, and workshops on Third Party Funding and Damages, along with a special networking session called, “Friday Night Live”. This conference is aimed at young arbitration practitioners of approximately 40 years and under: counsel, arbitrators, corporate counsel or academics. This ICC YAF Global Conference is a unique opportunity for YAF members from all over the world to meet peers from all Chapters. Young practitioners from all continents will gather to exchange thoughts on international arbitration and share some fun together. For more information, please visit their website.

ICC YAF has also recently announced new regional representatives for its 2017-2019 mandate. Representing 40 countries and 53 cities, the elected representatives are tasked with promotion and development of the dynamic global network of young arbitration talent. USCIB would like to congratulate the following new representatives for the United States:

Andy Tuck, Alston & Bird, LLP, Atlanta

Seth Meyer, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, Chicago

Silvia Marchili, King & Spalding, Houston

Marike Paulsson, University of Miami School of Law’s International Arbitration Institute, Miami

Floriane Lavaud, Debevoise & Plimpton, New York

Ignacio Zapiola, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, LLP, New York

Amy Endicott, Arnold Porter LLP, San Francisco

Chip Rosenberg, White & Case LLP, Washington DC

Mulligan Attends London ICC Meeting on Brexit, WTO

London USCIB’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, Rob Mulligan, represented USCIB at International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) meetings with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the British government on March 23 in London. The meeting was organized by ICC’s Trade and Investment Commission and focused on a wide range of global trade issues.  Ian Ascough, deputy director, multilateral trade, Department for International Trade, United Kingdom briefed ICC members on how the Brexit process will impact UK trade work.  He stressed their desire for a free trade agreement with the EU, no border in Ireland, and to be champions of free trade globally.  Ascough also noted that they will seek to secure a UK schedule in the WTO and build up their capability in the WTO. In discussing the implications of Brexit, Mulligan also raised business concerns related to trade, noting that “companies need sufficient transition times coming out of Brexit to address any changes related to customs, value chains, and regulatory requirements.”

Bernard Kuiten, head of external relations, WTO briefed the Commission on planning for the WTO Ministerial which will be held in Argentina this December.  Some areas that could be addressed in the Ministerial if member countries agree would include fisheries subsidies, e-commerce, services facilitation, agriculture, and investment.  The Commission also agreed to a suggestion by Mulligan to prepare a short paper on key ICC trade policy principles.

Business Finalizes Recommendations to G20 Sherpas

USCIB President Peter Robinson and IOE President Daniel Funes de Rioja (2ns and 3rd from right, respectively) at the B20 session in Paris
USCIB President Peter Robinson and IOE President Daniel Funes (2nd and 3rd from right, respectively) at the B20 session in Paris

USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson took part in today’s Special B20 Germany-OECD-BIAC meeting at the OECD in Paris, designed to provide coordinated private-sector input to the G20 leaders, in advance of a key G20 sherpas meeting this week in Germany. The main G20 leaders summit is scheduled for July 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany.

“Today’s meetings were important because we finalized key recommendations to the G20 sherpas on trade and investment policy, job-creation and the digitalization of the economy, among other topics,” said Robinson, who serves as co-chair of the B20 Employment and Education Task Force. “We hope the G20 governments will take these recommendations to heart.”

B20 President Jürgen Heraeus stated: “If we want to ensure future-oriented, sustainable economic growth, business has an important role to play. We are ready to do so. This cooperation offers the outstanding opportunity to shape global economic governance. Our global economy is changing rapidly. We are facing a multitude of risks: climate change, political conflicts, terrorism to name just a few. The G20 can serve as an agenda-setter.”

The B20 meeting was co-hosted by Business at OECD (BIAC), and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria addressed the gathering. “Business at OECD provides continuity and expertise across G20 and B20 presidencies,” said Business at OECD Chairman Phil O’Reilly. “We support the OECD in its vital mission to improve domestic and global economic governance. At a time when trade and investment across borders are subject of much ill-informed debate, OECD evidence on the substantial benefits of open and competitive markets is more important than ever.”

Daniel Funes de Rioja, chairman of the International Organization of Employers, also took part in today’s meetings. Meanwhile, USCIB Senior Vice President Rob Mulligan participated in meetings in London around the conclusion of the G20 finance ministers meeting, which was notable in part for the ministers’ decision not to re-emphasize their shard commitment to resisting trade protectionism.

Following the conclusion finance ministers meeting, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Secretary General John Danilovich issued a statement calling on the G20 governments to commit to shared values of openness and cooperation.

“We continue to face the challenge of global growth being too low and benefiting too few,” said Danilovich. “This is the defining economic test of our times, and we urge all G20 economies to take concerted and urgent action to enable inclusive growth. A retreat into protectionism would be the wrong response to this challenge.”

Danilovich continued: “Trade and globalization are complex processes, but at their heart are some simple truths. Trade means more choice for consumers. It means lower prices, so the money in your pocket goes further. Companies that trade are more competitive, and create more and better-paid jobs. That’s why trade matters if we’re to deliver the increases in prosperity, and reductions in inequality, that G20 finance ministers rightly committed to realize this weekend.”

“The global business community is naturally concerned by any weakening of the G20’s decade-long stance on resisting protectionism. We remain encouraged that discussions on this issue will continue in the coming months at official level. ICC will do all it can to urge G20 leaders to take the strongest possible stance on maintaining open markets at their annual summit in Hamburg in July. Protectionism is no path to progress.”

UN Environment Assembly Focuses on Role of Business

Kennedy at Nairobi UNEP Meetings
Kennedy representing the Business and Industry Major Group at UNEP meetings in Nairobi 

Norine Kennedy, USCIB’s expert on environment and climate change policy and one of two official business focal point representatives for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), recently attended UN Environment Assembly (UNEA3) preparatory meetings in Nairobi (March 7-10). UNEA represents the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment with universal membership of all 193 UN Member States along with non-governmental organizations and the private sector. The meetings in Nairobi began discussions to develop a new framework of of pollution-related issues for potential decisions and pledges at UNEA3; a substantial element of this framework will be the role of business in causing, remediating and minimizing pollution. UNEA3 will take place from December 4-6 in Nairobi.

UNEA3’s theme will be, “Towards a Pollution Free Planet.”  In interventions during last week’s preliminary meetings, government and UNEP officials linked this broad topic with other policy concepts underpinning regulatory efforts, including the circular economy and sustainable consumption.   Several governments also emphasized connections with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“At this early stage, most attention seems to be directed at plastics in the marine environment, whether in the form of micro-plastics and smaller debris,  or as plastic bottles and plastic bags, with the push coming from Nordic countries, the EU and some African countries,” observed Kennedy. “Other issues under the other pollution sub-headings could still be proposed.

Led by UNEP Executive Director, Erik Solheim, and echoed by numerous government representatives, UNEA3 preparations for UNEA3 are placing a strong focus on business and industry as a source of solutions, resources, and actions, yet much needs to be done to afford adequate time and attention to contributions that business has made to addressing environmental challenges.  “In spite of extensive partnership and engagement by business with UNEP over decades, discussions last week frequently seemed to assume that business and industry was not already engaged in environmental and sustainability management,” noted Kennedy.   In her intervention on behalf of Business and Industry, Kennedy reminded governments and UNEP of the business community’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and role in advancing innovative technologies to further all elements of sustainability.

Questions remain about how UNEP will identify and invite important business entities to the table, with an emphasis on geographical and sectoral representation, rather than anecdotal examples and individual CEOs.  USCIB will continue to advocate for U.S. business involvement and representation, working with UNEP and the U.S. Administration.

ICC Institute Advanced Training on the Conduct of the Proceedings and Case Management

Registration is now open for the ICC Institute Advanced Training on the Conduct of the Proceedings and Case Management.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Description: This training is of an advanced level and will focus in depth on how the arbitrator should establish his or her authority over the parties throughout the proceedings, including hearings, and interact with his or her fellow-arbitrators. Attendees are supposed to already master the basics of ICC international commercial arbitration. The training will consist of presentations and interactive discussions using mock case scenarios designed to hone participants’ understanding of critical theoretical concepts while also emphasizing many practical aspects involved in conducting an international arbitration.

To register, please visit the registration website. Early Bird rate is available through March 31.