Press Releases

IFC Provides Alternative Dispute Processes for Businesses in FYR Macedonia

In Sarajevo:
Ajla Dizdarevic
Phone: (387) 33 251 555

In Washinigton, D.C.:
Thoko Moyo
Phone: + (202) 458-8517

Skopje, April 24, 2006—The International Finance Corporation and Ministry of Justice of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the foundations for further cooperation on developing mediation in for the country over the next three years.  The document was signed by Mr. Antoine Courcelle - Labrousse, IFC Senior Program Manager, and H.E. Ms. Meri Mladenovska-Gjorgjievska, Minister of Justice.

The MOU has been signed as part of the IFC Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Project, funded by the government of the Netherlands.  The project’s overall objective is to support establishment of an efficient system of mediation that will contribute to improved enforcement of commercial contracts.

IFC’s Courcelle-Labrousse underlined that businesses need fair and accessible ADR mechanisms for resolving issues before they flare up into disputes.  “We are very keen to promote this efficient way of resolving business disputes in Macedonia. This is an important part of our strategy of promoting a vibrant private sector and of improving the overall business climate in the country through both our investment and technical assistance activities,” he said.

Mediation is a process in which the neutral third party – the mediator – assists parties in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable solution to a dispute.   IFC aims to achieve the objectives of its ADR project by providing technical assistance through integrated activities in the following areas: development of the legal framework and a cadre of world-class mediators, establishment of two pilot court mediation centers, and promotion through a comprehensive public awareness campaign.

The establishment of the mediation system is compatible with and supports the ongoing judicial reform programs in FYR Macedonia, by providing appropriate procedures to enable quicker, cheaper, and better access to justice for businesses.

The ADR Program was rolled out in the country in 2004, and since then a legal framework for practicing of mediation has been taking shape, three training programs for 50 prospective mediators have been delivered, and two roundtables and an ADR conference have been organized to promote use of mediation.

The project maintains strong regional connections and builds upon the successes and lessons learned from ADR projects implemented within the same framework of IFC support across the Southeast Europe region.

About the IFC

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

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