UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release


Second Annual Forum on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)
(Geneva, 30 June-1 July 2003)

Geneva, 3 July 2003 - The Second Annual Forum on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) was held on 30 June-1 July 2003 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva with the participation of WIPO, ITU, UNCTAD, ICC and 50 international jurists and technical experts.

In the opening address, Mr Garonna, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), emphasized the potential contribution of ODR to international conflict prevention and resolution. Mr Kowalski, Director of the UNECE Industrial Restructuring and Enterprise Development Division, pointed out the novel role of ODR for accelerating structural and judiciary reform in developing and transition economies with advancement of information society and knowledge economy.

Six expert panels have assessed linkages between Alternative Dispute Resolution and ICT by taking stock of ongoing international activities on ODR. It also examined new instruments and ways of cooperation among public and private sectors in view of increasing interface between technology and law.

The two-day forum recommended that the member States recognize the need for and value of the use of ICT to facilitate dispute resolution; encourage the use of technological applications in a range of public and governmental disputes; the issues of digital and justice divide be further considered at the UN forum on online dispute resolution; the UN consult with and inform the member States about the progress made in the development of legal and technical instruments of online dispute resolution.

For further information please contact:

Mr. Daewon Choi
Head of Knowledge Economy
Industrial Restructuring, Energy & Enterprise Development Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Palais des Nations
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Telephone: +41(0)22 917 24 74
Telefax: +41(0)22 917 01 78
E-mail: [email protected]

Ref: ECE/IREEDD/03/P11