Session documents

Short courses for Permanent Missions in Geneva

International Investment Agreements and Development

Palais des Nations, Geneva (Room XXIV)

Friday, 4 May 2012

Foreign investment is one of the key elements of globalization. One way in which countries worldwide seek to attract FDI is through the conclusion of international investment agreements (IIAs). More than 3,000 IIAs exist today covering around 2/3 of global investment flows. One remarkable feature of these treaties is that they enable direct international claims by investors against host States and recovery of monetary compensation. This method of settling investment disputes has been growing in popularity in the past 10-12 years, with almost 90 countries facing such claims by the end of 2011.

This short course aims at raising awareness about IIAs and international investor-State dispute settlement. It will first provide an overview of recent trends for IIAs and investor-State arbitrations. We will then discuss different types of IIAs (bilateral, regional, sectoral), their functions and main obligations. We will see how the dispute settlement mechanism works and identify key questions that arbitral tribunals have had to grapple with. Having highlighted the lessons to be learnt, we will discuss how IIAs’ contribution to development could be strengthened.

Delivered by: Division on Investment and Enterprise Development


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