UNIGE-IISD Lunch Series on Investment Disputes: Investment for Sustainable Development Provisions

The next UNIGE-IISD lunch series on investment disputes is taking place Friday, October 26, from 12:30- 1:45 p.m. at University of Geneva, Uni Mail, 40 bd du Pont, Geneva, Room M4020.

October 25, 2018 8:00 pm


Investor-state dispute settlement cases can have significant public policy implications, including in the areas of health, environmental protection, economic development and taxation.

This lunch series aims to examine the relationship between international investment law cases and sustainable development goals and policies. We invite international and national policy-makers, academics and students with different backgrounds to explore and discuss selected cases.

This session will explore the relationship and interplay between investment provisions and the sustainable development provisions in investment and trade agreements. On September 18, an investor-State arbitral tribunal established under the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) rendered a decision confirming host State’s right to regulate and dismissing the claims raised by the investors against Costa Rica. In reaching the decision, the tribunal in Aven v. Costa Rica looked beyond CAFTA’s investment chapter and explored its relationship with the environmental chapter. What makes the Aven case stand out from other cases? What does this mean for other investment treaties and comprehensive trade agreements? How to ensure the effectiveness of sustainable development provisions? What are the alternative approaches by national governments and regional organizations to address similar issues in a more proactive manner? Join Martin Kohout to explore some innovative approaches and discussions taking place in Africa on this topic, including the ongoing debates around the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Register online today.


Martin Kohout is Associate Economic Affairs Officer at the Regional Integration and Trade Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mr Kohout develops investment policy research, supports intergovernmental processes and policymaking in the area of investment and provides capacity-building and consultancy services to African countries. He previously worked in the public and private sector, including the media. Mr Kohout holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Leeds and a Master’s degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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