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Hub News Article Nov 23, 2017

IIA Issues Note: Improving Investment Dispute Settlement: UNCTAD's Policy Tools

Geneva, 23 November 2017 – Prepared in response to a request by the Secretariat of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), this IIA Issues Note provides an overview of UNCTAD’s policy tools for reforming investment dispute settlement.


  • The mounting number of investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) cases, as well as the systemic challenges arising from them, have pushed ISDS to the forefront of the broader agenda for the sustainable development-oriented reform of the international investment agreements (IIA) regime.
  • Over the past five years, and in response to these developments, UNCTAD has intensified its work on IIA and investment dispute settlement reform.
  • In addition to offering comprehensive data on ISDS cases and reviewing treaty practice with respect to ISDS clauses, several of the organization’s flagship publications have analysed ISDS-related concerns, provided policy options and detailed the respective pros and cons of each.
  • This IIA Issues Note provides an overview of UNCTAD’s policy tools aimed at helping policymakers improve investment dispute settlement, as part of a broader effort to align international investment policy with today’s sustainable development paradigm.