RIYADH: The second International Conference on Commercial Arbitration began on Monday in Riyadh under the slogan “The development of Arbitration in the Middle East and North Africa … Reality and Aspiration.”
Saudi Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani, Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan and 37 local and foreign ministers and lecturers, as well as a top-level local and international audience, attended the conference.
Yassin bin Khalid Khayat, chairman of the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) board of directors, noted increasing international interest in conflict resolution alternatives, and calls for the adoption of steps to break the monopoly over this sector and secure diversity in it.
Khayat said that the Kingdom was keen on ensuring diversity by empowering women, and by hiring arbiters from 23 states and from all continents. He said: “To ensure the autonomy of the SCCA, members of the board of directors should not be holders of a public office. In addition, the board is the highest authority in the center, while the arbitration council enjoys full autonomy in performing its duties. In addition, a decree was issued to encourage public institutions and state-owned companies to seek arbitration by SCCA.”
Dr. Hamed Meera, SCCA executive director, said that the center had already launched a package of services and products such as emergency arbitrator, expedited arbitration procedures, protocol and arbitration platform. “Today SCCA has launched the service of selection and appointment of arbitrators channeled along four options to meet the needs of large companies that resort to services provided by it,” he said.
Due to rising demand for the center’s training programs, the time was ripe for the establishment of an academy that provided short- and long-term training programs, he said.
Dr. Nabeel A. Al-Mansour, senior vice president and general counsel and secretary of Saudi Aramco, said that the Kingdom was keen to establish an integrated system to activate the role of arbitration in the Kingdom within a competitive and fair and transparent environment.