Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) System

SC, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment and IISD Side Event, 9-13 October 2023

Side Event to the 46th Session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group III (WG-III) on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Reform

“Cross-cutting issues at the centre of developing countries’ concerns during the 46th UNCITRAL WG-III Session: Developing Countries’ Efforts Towards ISDS Reform”

Co-organized by the South Centre, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, the Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

9-13 October 2023

Vienna, Austria

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SC, Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment, IISD and IIED Side Event, 9-13 October 2023

Side Event to the 46th Session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group III (WG-III) on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Reform

“Cross-cutting issues at the centre of developing countries’ concerns during the 46th UNCITRAL WG-III Session: Damages at the Core of Discussion”

Co-organized by the South Centre (SC), Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

9-13 October 2023

Vienna, Austria

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Research Paper 185, 13 October 2023

Foreign Investment Flows in a Shifting Geoeconomic Landscape

By Danish

The economic shocks from the pandemic and rising geoeconomic tensions have triggered an accelerated restructuring of foreign investment flows in global value chains. As the previous determinants of foreign investment are rapidly changing, many new risks and opportunities abound for developing countries looking to attract FDI into their economies. This paper therefore looks at some of the important issues affecting foreign investment flows to developing countries both now and in the future. It then lays out some policy imperatives which can help countries ensure that the inbound foreign investment is responsible, sustainable and contributes to achieving the national development priorities.

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SC Contribution – Call for Inputs by UN SR on HRs & Environment, 14 June 2023

Response to the Call for Inputs by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment

Should the interests of foreign investors trump the human right to a clean,
healthy and sustainable environment
?”

South Centre

14 June 2023

To realize the right to clean, healthy & sustainable environment and reduce ISDS risks, States need to align their FDI policies with human rights, climate action and SDGs, including via reform of the international investment regime.

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SouthViews No. 246, 5 April 2023

Preserving Regulatory Space for Sustainable Development in Africa

By Roslyn Ng’eno

Investment has an important role for achieving sustainable development in developing countries. Although international investment agreements (IIAs) can serve as instruments to promote such objective, protection oriented IIAs have undermined the ability of States to regulate in the benefit of the community. Likewise large financial reparations imposed by arbitral tribunals have increased the threat of regulatory chill in the face of major global challenges. Strengthening the right to regulate of States and addressing regulatory chill are key matters to consider in the reform of IIAs and the international investment regime. 

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Documento de Investigación 167, 27 de octubre de 2022

Análisis de las intersecciones entre cambio climático y derechos humanos

Por Daniel Uribe Terán y Luis Fernando Rosales

Los efectos del cambio climático en la vida diaria de las personas amenazan el pleno disfrute de los derechos humanos. El Consejo de Derechos Humanos ha adoptado dos resoluciones históricas en las que se reconoce por un lado el derecho humano a un medio ambiente limpio, saludable y sostenible (Resolución 48/13), y se establece por otro el mandato de un Relator Especial sobre la promoción y la protección de los derechos humanos en el contexto del cambio climático (Resolución 48/14). Aun así, parece existir la necesidad de que la CMNUCC y la estructura de derechos humanos de las Naciones Unidas mantengan un diálogo más amplio a fin de dar con una respuesta coordinada y coherente al cambio climático y sus efectos sobre los derechos humanos.

En este documento de investigación se analizan las intersecciones de estos dos sistemas jurídicos. Para ello, se identifica el modo en que las negociaciones relativas al cambio climático y la estructura de derechos humanos pueden contribuir a fortalecer la cooperación internacional. También se reconoce la necesidad de un debate internacional de mayor calado acerca de las relaciones entre los derechos humanos y el cambio climático, coherente con los principios de equidad y las responsabilidades comunes pero diferenciadas del CMNUCC.

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Document de Recherche 167, 27 octobre 2022

Analyse des Intersections entre le Changement Climatique et les Droits de l’Homme

Par Daniel Uribe Teran et Luis Fernando Rosales

Les effets du réchauffement climatique sur la vie quotidienne des êtres humains menacent la pleine jouissance de leurs droits. Le Conseil des droits de l’homme a adopté deux résolutions d’une portée historique, qui reconnaissent le droit de l’homme à un environnement propre, sain et durable (résolution 48/13), et nomment un rapporteur spécial chargé de la promotion et de la protection des droits de l’homme dans le contexte du changement climatique (résolution 48/14). Toutefois, un dialogue plus large entre la Convention-cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques (CCNUCC) et l’architecture de protection des droits de l’homme de l’ONU semble nécessaire en vue de parvenir à une réponse coordonnée et cohérente au réchauffement climatique et à ses effets sur les droits de l’homme.

Le présent document de recherche analyse les points de convergence entre ces deux mécanismes en mettant en avant de quelle manière les négociations sur le réchauffement climatique et l’architecture de protection des droits de l’homme peuvent contribuer à renforcer la coopération internationale. Il reconnaît également la nécessité de discussions plus approfondies au niveau international sur les liens entre droits de l’homme et réchauffement climatique, conformément aux principes d’équité et de responsabilités communes mais différenciées inclus dans la CCNUCC.

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Documento de Investigación 162, 11 de Agosto de 2022

El mecanismo multilateral permanente propuesto y su posible relación con el universo existente de solución de controversias entre inversionistas y estados

por Danish y Daniel Uribe

La opción de reforma del Mecanismo Multilateral Permanente (SMM) que se está debatiendo actualmente en el Grupo de Trabajo III (GTIII) de la Comisión de las Naciones Unidas para el Derecho Mercantil Internacional (CNUDMI) ha planteado una serie de importantes preocupaciones sistémicas para las reformas procesales de la solución de controversias entre inversionistas y Estados. El presente documento trata en primer lugar de situar los debates sobre la SaaaMM en su contexto histórico y contemporáneo. A continuación, examina el Documento de Trabajo 213 de la CNUDMI y las disposiciones legales que contiene, que constituyen la base de los debates actuales sobre esta opción de reforma en el GTIII. Además, explora la posible relación de esta propuesta de SMM con diferentes aspectos del régimen jurídico internacional vigente en materia de inversiones. El documento concluye proporcionando algunos elementos que requieren una mayor consideración en este proceso, especialmente para proteger los intereses de los países en desarrollo.

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Document de Recherche 162, 11 août 2022

Le mécanisme multilatéral permanent proposé et sa relation potentielle avec l’univers existant du règlement des différends entre investisseurs et États

par Danish et Daniel Uribe

L’option de réforme du Mécanisme permanent de règlement des différends internationaux en matière d’investissements actuellement en discussion au sein du Groupe de travail III de la CNUDCI a soulevé un certain nombre de préoccupations importantes concernant la réforme du système de règlement des différends entre investisseurs et États. Le présent document s’attache, dans un premier temps, à situer les discussions sur le mécanisme de règlement des différends dans leurs contextes historique et actuel. Il examine ensuite le document de travail 213 de la CNUDCI et les dispositions juridiques qu’il contient, qui constituent la base des discussions en cours sur cette option de réforme au sein du Groupe de travail. Enfin, il explore les liens potentiels entre le projet de mécanisme de règlement des différends et les différentes facettes du régime des accords internationaux d’investissement. Il se conclut sur les différents points qui nécessitent un examen plus approfondi en vue notamment de préserver les intérêts des pays en développement.

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Research Paper 167, 27 October 2022

Analysing Intersections between Climate Change and Human Rights

By Daniel Uribe Teran and Luis Fernando Rosales

The effects of climate change on people’s daily lives threaten the full enjoyment of human rights. The Human Rights Council adopted two landmark resolutions recognising the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment (Resolution 48/13), and establishing the mandate for a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change (Resolution 48/14). Nevertheless, a broader dialogue between the UNFCCC and the UN human rights architecture seems necessary to establish a coordinated and coherent response to climate change and its effects on human rights.

This research paper analyses the intersections of these two legal systems. It does so by identifying how the climate change negotiations and the human rights architecture can contribute to strengthening international cooperation. It also recognises the need for a more profound international debate on the linkages between human rights and climate change consistent with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities included in the UNFCCC.

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Research Paper 162, 11 August 2022

The Proposed Standing Multilateral Mechanism and Its Potential Relationship with the Existing Universe of Investor – State Dispute Settlement

by Danish and Daniel Uribe

The reform option on the Standing Multilateral Mechanism (SMM) currently under discussion at UNCITRAL’s Working Group III (WGIII) has raised a number of important, systemic concerns for the procedural reforms of investor-State dispute settlement. This paper first seeks to situate the discussions on the SMM within its historical and contemporary contexts. Then it considers UNCITRAL Working Paper 213 and the legal provisions it contains, which form the basis of ongoing discussions of this reform option at WGIII. Further, it explores the potential relationship of this proposed SMM with different facets of the existing international investment law regime. The paper concludes by providing some elements which require further consideration in this process, particularly for safeguarding the interests of developing countries.

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SouthViews No. 232, 10 December 2021

Jamaica’s Perspective on Reform of the Global Investment Regime

By Omar Chedda

The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the world economy, and in particular, Jamaica’s economy, due to supply chain bottlenecks and reduction of tourism, on which Jamaica is heavily dependent.  This is the context in which Jamaica is now reviewing its investment regime to ensure that investments contribute to recovery, building resilience and sustainable development, while improving investor rights and obligations in line with global trends.

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