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The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce has been recognised for its work to make arbitration more inclusive, taking home the award for Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge Award from the annual Global Arbitration Review Awards ceremony last week.

Celebrating 12 years of recognising outstanding contributions by individuals, groups and organisations serving the world of arbitration, the prestigious GAR Awards saw ICC nominated in a total of four awards in three categories and going on to take the Award for Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, which featured category nominations for over a dozen other pioneering alternative dispute resolution diversity initiatives. 

Accepting the award for achievements in building an LGBTQIA network and launching a disability task force, ICC Court President Claudia Salomon said: “At ICC, we are focused on diversity broadly defined, and we are focused on inclusion. At ICC, everyone can be their authentic selves.  If you are LGBTQIA+, you belong. And if you have a disability, you belong.”

Diversity and inclusion are central to ICC culture and values and to enabling business to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all.

Launched by Claudia Salomon in her first month as President of the ICC Court, the LGBTQIA network aims to build on a range of ICC efforts to champion the benefits of diversity and inclusivity, including the launch last year of ICC World Business Pride, an ICC staff-led initiative to foster an inclusive environment for those in the LGBTQIA community.

Formally established in May, upon proposal from Ms Salomon to the Steering Committee of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR, the ICC Task Force on Disability Inclusion in International Arbitration seeks to ensure ICC’s reputed dispute resolution services meet the needs of all practitioners.

In November, ICC also announced the inclusivity focused ‘Hold the Door Open’ initiative aiming to give young arbitration practitioners in Africa an opportunity to gain practical experience by observing arbitration hearings.

ICC Court Secretary General and Director of ICC Dispute Resolution Services Alexander G. Fessas said: “At ICC, we build bridges instead of walls. The GAR award is a tremendous recognition of ICC’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, for which we are proud and grateful.”

Melanie van Leeuwen, Chair of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR said: “This recognition goes to show that the taskforce is doing ground-breaking and much needed work to level the playing field within the arbitration community in line with a mission to create awareness of the challenges encountered by practitioners with disabilities and to deliver practical solutions to facilitate their inclusion in arbitration and ADR practice.”

The GAR Awards ceremony took place as part of Paris Arbitration Week which brought together arbitration practitioners from all over the world in person for the first time in two years to participate in sessions covering diversity, sustainability and the metaverse.

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