UNCITRAL Working Group III and Reform of Investor–State Dispute Settlement

UNCITRAL Working Group III has been formally deliberating possible multilateral reform of investor–state dispute settlement since 2017. IISD’s participation in this process aims to help promote a fair and inclusive system to resolve investment–related disputes. 

In 2017, the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) mandated its Working Group III to identify concerns regarding investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS)—the process for settling disputes under investment treaties—and develop potential reform solutions. These deliberations are taking place as several countries and regions are developing new dispute settlement mechanisms and approaches, examining other options for dispute prevention, and negotiating alternative types of bilateral and regional treaties or renegotiating or terminating existing ones.  

IISD has observer status with UNCITRAL and has participated in all the sessions of Working Group III as an invited non-governmental organization. We seek to help initiate an inclusive and transparent discussion on reforming the ISDS regime and building a new mechanism for resolving investment-related disputes. We also provide support to developing countries to ensure their concerns are put on the table during negotiations, to help them identify key issues on which to focus efforts when developing a national position, and to build coalitions with like-minded countries.

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