06 March 2013

Secretary-General Delivers Speech at Dutch-Russian Seminar

On March 6, 2013, PCA Secretary-General Hugo Siblesz took part in the seminar “Better Justice, Better Business,” organized by the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Justice and the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum within the framework of the Netherlands-Russian Federation Bilateral Year 2013. Arbitration and mediation in a transnational context were the themes of the seminar, which was attended by some 120 guests (government officials, academics and private sector parties). Participants were welcomed by Ivo Opstelten, Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, and Arkadiy Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

The Secretary-General spoke about the role of the PCA in creating a propitious climate for business relations between the Netherlands and the Russian Federation. The Secretary-General highlighted the “essential—and indeed, unparalleled—role” that the two countries have played in the establishment and shaping of the PCA, Czar Nicholas II having convened the First Hague Peace Conference at which the PCA was created and the Netherlands having supported this initiative from the start through a grant for the purchase of the land on which the Peace Palace, home of the PCA, stands today.

Explaining how an institution created in the late nineteenth century with the lofty goal of pursuing world peace can be relevant to the economic relations of the Netherlands and Russia today, the Secretary-General focused on the PCA’s flexible mandate, which allows it to administer not only State-to-State arbitrations, but also arbitrations between public and private entities. Noting the PCA’s growing caseload of investor-State arbitrations, the Secretary-General stressed that the option of investor-State arbitration in fact “depoliticizes” disputes that might otherwise become inter-State disputes and increases investor confidence by providing for a dispute resolution process allowing for equality of arms between the parties to a dispute.

In the context of the Netherlands–Russian Federation Bilateral Year 2013, the Secretary-General will speak on similar themes at the III St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in May 2013.

For the complete text of the Secretary-General’s speech, click here.