2023 ICCA President's Report to the ICCA Membership

From ICCA President Stanimir Alexandrov, March 2024


As ICCA begins to look forward to what is to come in 2024, with the ICCA Hong Kong Congress at the forefront, I take this opportunity to reflect on all that ICCA has achieved over the course of 2023, my first year as ICCA President. In addition to our usual activities, we co-hosted a conference in Vancouver, launched a new publication, released our 21st Congress Book and launched a new project to draft a conciliation annex for the Paris Climate Agreement.


The ICCA-VanIAC Conference took place on 2 June 2023 in Vancouver and focused on “Energy Infrastructure Disputes and Arbitration: Today and Tomorrow”. Conference Co-Chairs Tina Cicchetti, Craig Chiasson and Joe McArthur put together an excellent programme against the beautiful backdrop of the city of Vancouver. It was a great pleasure to meet up with colleagues from Canada and further afield to discuss such an important topic in international arbitration. 


In 2023, ICCA Publications expanded its offerings to include a new “ICCA Awards Series”, building on the 639 awards already published in the ICCA Yearbook. The ICCA Awards Series is focused solely on arbitral awards and related decisions that are of particular relevance to the development of international arbitration, and is available, like all other ICCA publications, through the specialised KluwerArbitration database. 


The ICCA Congress Series no. 21, featuring papers presented at ICCA 2022 Edinburgh, was launched in September at a celebratory #ArbFest2023 in Edinburgh and has since been distributed to the 2022 Edinburgh Congress delegates. I hope that you enjoy reliving some of the many inspiring ideas that were developed at the Congress. Of course we also continued our work on the long-established Handbook and Yearbook. During 2023, we released four electronic updates and the annual hard copy of the 2023 Yearbook Commercial Arbitration, and updated sixteen country reports in the ICCA Handbook Commercial Arbitration.


ICCA’s Judiciary Committee remains committed to providing guidance to national court judges on the enforcement of the 1958 New York Convention. In 2023, New York Convention Roadshows were held in Santo Domingo and Panama City, and a new Japanese translation of ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention is now freely available on the ICCA website. 


ICCA’s newest project group is the ICCA Panel of Experts to Develop a Paris Agreement Conciliation Annex. The Panel have been soliciting comments on their draft annex at various events including at COP28 in Dubai. We are also very pleased to share that eight ICCA-Johnny Veeder Fellows were awarded micro-grants over the course of 2023, allowing them to pursue one-off projects in the field of international arbitration. 


Young ICCA has been continuing its efforts to make the field of international arbitration more accessible to young practitioners through its events, mentoring and scholarship programmes, and additionally launched a digital magazine entitled ‘Young ICCA VOICES’. Young ICCA VOICES aims to provide practical and current content on all things important to young arbitration practitioners in an accessible and interactive format and is available through the Young ICCA website at www.youngicca.org


In regards to an update on ICCA’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, I am pleased to confirm that membership of our Governing Board continues to maintain gender parity, as well as geographic diversity, in its composition; that speakers at the 2022 Edinburgh Congress were 55% women and 45% men and included speakers from 39 nationalities or places of residence; that ICCA project committees are constructed inter alia taking diversity factors into account; and that the 8th and 9th cycles of the Young ICCA Mentoring Programme included: in the 8th cycle 59% women and 41% men and 42 nationalities, and in the 9th cycle 47% women and 53% men and 49 nationalities.


ICCA’s plans for 2024 include releasing a second edition of ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention, gathering with the international arbitration community at ICCA 2024 Hong Kong from 5-8 May, and planning for our next event, an ICCA-KIAC joint conference that will take place in Kigali, Rwanda, on 5 June 2025.


And now, it only remains for me to thank all of you for your support of ICCA and your engagement in our activities over the course of 2023. I hope to see many of you in Hong Kong in May. 


More information about all the developments noted above can be found at www.arbitration-icca.org. To register for ICCA 2024 Hong Kong go to icca2024.hk.