The very first Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) Annual Arbitration Forum was held at the AIAC from 21-22 July 2018. The theme of the conference, “Connecting Asia and Africa, Connecting Investment and ADR: Opportunities and Challenges”, attracted over two hundred participants from more than thirty countries across Asia and Africa. The event was attended by H.E. Prof. Dr. Kennedy Gastorn, Secretary General of AALCO, Mr. Mohsen Baharvand and Ms. Wang Liyu, Deputy Secretaries General of AALCO.
A number of influential figures and government officials graced the conference with their presence. The Forum’s extensive list of the guests of honour included: The His Lordship Honourable Dipak Misra, Chief Justice of India; Her Lordship Honourable Irene Chirwa Mambilima, Chief Justice of the Republic of Zambia; the Honourable Prof. Palamagamba John Kabudi, Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs of Tanzania, YB Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) of Malaysia, and the Honourable Justice Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, Court of Appeal Judge, Malaysia.
The Forum had an array of prominent speakers from diverse ethnic and legal backgrounds. The event brought together all five arbitration centres of AALCO namely Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC), Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), the Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, Lagos (RCICAL), the Tehran Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (TRAC) and the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration (NCIA).
The Secretary General welcomed the participants and thanked the Malaysian Government for its continuous support and applauded Director of the AIAC, Datuk Professor Sundra Rajoo for his tireless efforts in making AIAC what it is today.
He also delivered a special address on the topic “Arbitration and International Trade and Investment Law: A Quest for Institutional Convergence amid Interacting Regimes”. He also chaired the first panel discussion, which was titled “The Five Pillars of ADR” comprised of the heads of the five AALCO arbitration centres namely Datuk Professor Sundra Rajoo, the Director of the AIAC, Dr. Ismail Selim, the Director of the CRCICA, Hon. Wilfred Ikatari, the Director of the RCICAL, Dr. Oveis Rezvanian, the Director of the TRAC and Mr. Lawrence Muiruri Ngugi, the CEO of the NCIA.
The former Secretary General of AALCO and a member of the current Eminent Persons Group (EPG) of the AALCO, Dato’ Prof. Dr. Rahmat Mohamad delivered a special address encouraging AALCO Regional Arbitration centres to continue making progress.
In concluding the event the Secretary General reiterated his gratitude to the Malaysian Government and AIAC for hosting this event and looked forward to the second AALCO Annual Arbitration Forum next year in Cairo, Egypt to be hosted by CRCICA.