European Regional Consultation on International Investment Agreements and Human Rights to Support the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

This regional consultation was convened by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and hosted jointly by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), and the Essex Business and Human Rights Project in the University of Essex School of Law and Human Rights Center. 

December 10, 2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm CET

(Open to public)

This consultation is part of a regional series, which will feed into the Working Group's forthcoming report to the UN General Assembly on how to improve the negotiation of international investment agreements (IIAs) so they are compatible with human rights.

The event featured a plenary discussion, which considered options for improving existing treaties in line with human rights, as well as reform options for future agreements. The plenary also addressed the gender and racial impacts of IIAs, as well as how they may interact with the Legally Binding Instrument (LBI) that is being negotiated.

This LBI aims to "regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises,” as set out in the mandate for these negotiations under the UN Human Rights Council's Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights.

There were also various "breakout" topics as part of the regional consultation, built around the three pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The European regional consultation took place on December 10, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CET over Zoom. The event was held under the Chatham House Rule. Further details on how to engage with the UN Working Group are available here.

Workshop details

Investment Law & Policy
Focus area