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IFC Helps Papua New Guinea Advance Mediation to Resolve Disputes Faster

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, February 8, 2011 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping to provide the public and business community in Papua New Guinea with a way to resolve disputes more quickly, cost effectively, and on good terms by helping  the National and Supreme Courts of Papua New Guinea progress court-annexed mediation.
Mediation is a confidential and informal way of resolving a dispute between parties, with the help of a neutral third person—a mediator.  Parties are referred by a court to participate in mediation. The mediator works with them to help reach a mutually beneficial and lasting solution and avoid lengthy and costly court proceedings.
“Mediation is a good way to resolve disputes because it can save time and money,” said IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell during a visit at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre in Port Moresby. “The court-referred mediation program will contribute to legal stability and help improve Papua New Guinea’s investment climate, allowing businesses to grow and create jobs.”
Since the launch of the country’s mediation rules in June 2010, more than 100 mediations have been completed. IFC partnered with the National Court-appointed Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, chaired by Justice Ambeng Kandakasi, to help develop the mediation rules, support training of the first group of 18 mediators with Australian and Papua New Guinea accreditation, and deliver public-awareness workshops. IFC’s assistance is supported by the governments of Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.  
“Mediation is proving to be an important development and peace-making tool to the people and legal system of Papua New Guinea,” Justice Kandakasi said. “It is enabling the court to help parties resolve disputes fairly and quickly while helping to maintain and strengthen business and personal relationships.”  
In Papua New Guinea, mediation is helping resolve cases more quickly and cheaply, helping to reduce the 30,000 case backlog in the country. According to the IFC-World Bank Doing Business 2011 report, it requires on average 42 procedures and 591 days in Papua New Guinea to resolve a dispute, at a cost of 110 percent of the claim amount, using standard litigation processes.  
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and provide essential services, mobilizing capital from others, and delivering advisory and risk-management services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .