The Thailand Arbitration Center (THAC) collaborated with the World Mediation Organization (WMO) and George Mason University Korea (GMUK) and hosted the first international Symposium on mediation in Bangkok, Thailand, titled “Mediation – The Language of Peaceful Communication and Conflict Resolution” from August 23-26, 2016.
Held at the luxurious Dusit Thani Bangkok Hotel, the four-day symposium attracted around 200 attendees to listen to and participate in the talks given by the group of international speakers and practitioners THAC had invited. These speakers and practitioners came from all corners of the world, including Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Korea, India and the United Kingdom to share their insights on a great variety of topics related to mediation and conflict resolution including the application and processes.
“We are very happy to have hosted this kind of event for the first time in Thailand in collaboration with the WMO. It was a great experience and helped promote mediation in Thailand and internationally. I hope we can hold more such events in the future and keep on making a difference, both in Thailand and the world,” says Mr. Pasit Asawawattanaporn, Managing Director of THAC.
As the leading center for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Thailand, THAC took the initiative to organize this symposium and showcased Thailand as a regional leader in the domain of mediation and peaceful conflict resolution. At this event, THAC inspired attendees and speakers to further pursue the goal of promoting mediation as the best way to deal with conflicts.
“Seeing how this event came together has been wonderful. It is our privilege to host this international event, to meet so many international experts in the field of conflict resolution, and to get to know all the participants present here today, remarking Thailand as the regional hub of alternative dispute resolution. You are always welcome in Thailand as over the past four days we have bonded as family,” says Ms. Nattinee Netraumpai, Executive Manager – Mediation at THAC.
The great diversity of speakers made the event truly international and gave both a global and Thai perspective about mediation and conflict resolution, its application in Thailand and abroad and the key influence culture can have on the way it is used. Professor Vanchai Vatanasapt of Kon Kean University and the Venerable Assistant Professor Phramaha Hansa Dhammahaso shared interesting insights about several cases where mediation was used to successfully resolve a variety of conflicts in Thailand, showing how mediation has been gaining importance in the Kingdom. To provide an international perspective, Attorney Jay Patrick Santiago from HKIAC in Hong Kong spoke about mediation in both Hong Kong and the Philippines and the important influence culture can have on how mediation is used.
The broad range of topics spoken about motivated speakers and members of the audience to engage in lengthy Q&A sessions after the presentations with relevant questions and insightful comments. These stimulating discussions often carried over into the coffee and lunch breaks, where all participants and speakers had the chance to get to know each other and become part of the global network of mediation professionals. “It was fantastic to see how people from all around the world and different walks of life came together to share their wisdom and experiences, learn from each other and work on the common goal of promoting mediation and conflict resolution internationally. At WMO we are very pleased with our collaboration and the great work done by THAC and are looking forward to planning many future events with them,” says Dr. Daniel Erdmann, founder and CEO of WMO.
The broad range of topics also made this event suitable both for seasoned mediators, conflict resolution practitioners and people newer to these fields, such as the many Thai students from King Prajadhipok Institute that attended the THAC symposium. They actively took part in the Q&A sessions and were able to benefit greatly from the insights shared by more senior participants. Through these interactions the worthy cause of mediation was greatly promoted among students and the next generation of mediators was inspired at this event.