The International Association of Lawyers (UIA – Union Internationale des Avocats) brings together over 2, 000 individual members and 200 bar, federation and association members, from more than 110 countries. Within UIA, the Mediation and Conflict Prevention Commission created The World Forum of Mediation Centres in 2001. It brings together the most important commercial mediation practitioners and ADR centres from around the world and offers an occasion to exchange views on the development of ADR and best practices.

The meeting in Thessaloniki was the 20th since the creation of the Forum.
The meeting focused on the question if governments and courts can do more to increase the demand for mediation and focus on the all-important topic of how to bring the business case to mediation, recognising conflict avoidance and early resolution of disputes are vital management tools.  The congress examined whether the current social problems and economic downturns have led to an increase in conflict and in particular how mediation can be used to help solve potential insolvency and bankruptcy issues, both in Greece and internationally.  
Another issue that was raised, was the long-standing recognition that lawyers are a vital ingredient to the success of mediation but at the same time can be a barrier to its success.  During the “Mining the Minds” session, advantage was taken of the vast experience of the visiting mediators and various aspects of the topic were explored. 
On behalf of Con-Sent ADR, Founding Partner Georges Hanot attended the congress.

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