SC Webinar Series on Development and COVID-19

Responsible Investment for Development and Human Rights: Assessing Different Mechanisms to face Possible Investor-State Disputes from COVID-19 Related Measures

Developing and least developed countries (LDCs), particularly in Africa, are especially vulnerable to the unfolding effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to UNCTAD, foreign direct investment flows will drop drastically up to 40% during 2020-2021. A number of developed and developing countries, including LDCs, have introduced a number of measures aimed at limiting the effects of the pandemic, protecting domestic industries for strategic sectors (e.g. health industry, energy sector, telecommunication, food production, etc.), and safeguarding the real economy, particularly by offering bonds or bailouts for companies and the public in general.

Law firms and risk managers are already advising foreign investors about the possibility of initiating investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) claims against host States on the grounds of the alleged breach of their investors’ rights, based on provisions such as : (i) full protection and security; (ii) fair and equitable treatment; (iii) national treatment and most-favoured nation treatment; and (iv) unlawful expropriation.

The webinar is designed as an open space to foster dialogue and share views among developing countries and other strategic partners for identifying and assessing the different mechanisms for States to face these challenges at the multilateral, regional and domestic level. With several calls being made for establishing a multilateral ISDS moratorium during the COVID-19 crisis and response, the webinar will consider these options and other possible regional and domestic responses based on the principles of dispute prevention. This webinar is part of a webinar series being organized by the South Centre with the objective of gathering experts, policy-makers, government officials, practitioners and other stakeholders to discuss the different measures adopted by States to tackle the different challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic in their efforts to achieve and sustain the progress towards sustainable development in developing countries.


Recorded webinar available here


Date: Thursday, 30 July 2020

Time: 14h00 – 15h30 CET

Register Here


Webinar Documents:



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