Skopje, FYR Macedonia, November 23,
2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with the
Ministry of Justice of the FYR Macedonia to introduce mediation, an important
tool to enhance the business environment by helping businesses unlock capital
tied up in litigation and reduce pressure on clogged courts.
IFC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution
Program has paved the way for introducing mediation in Southeast Europe
by supporting the changes in the legal environment, training more than
500 mediators, developing a network of 11 mediation centers throughout
the region. It also is educating businesses, investors, legal professionals,
and state representatives about the benefits of mediation. The program
is funded by the Dutch government.
Mediation is a process in which a third
neutral party—mediator—assists parties in dispute to reach a mutually
acceptable solution. The mediator has no power to impose the decision;
the parties in dispute craft the decision themselves.
“Resolving a commercial dispute through
litigation can take several years,” said Giovanni Daniele, IFC Resident
Representative. “Waiting so long for an outcome can bankrupt a small business
and, more broadly, deter foreign companies wishing to invest in the countries
of the region.”
The Ministry of Justice will cooperate
with IFC in establishing the institutional infrastructure for mediation
in the country by using best practices from the region. During the last
four years, more than 3,000 disputes across the region were resolved through
mediation. As a result, some $86 million of funds tied up in litigations
“Companies need to resolve disputes
quickly and they should not hesitate to seek the assistance of mediators,”
said Mihajlo Manevski, FYR Macedonia’s Minister of Justice. “The introduction
of mediation also will have a positive effect on the overall efficiency
of our courts, as the existing backlog of cases will be substantially reduced.”
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently
seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity
for the poor in developing countries.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.