International Investment Agreements Reform

A rapidly developing international political environment has created openness to reform of the international investment regime. Many states have revised their investment contract policies. COVID-19 can increase countries` responsibility for international investment contracts. Professor Dr. Sornarajah, Professor Emeritus at the National University of Singapore, explains in this SouthViews the challenges facing developing countries in such contracts. The text is based on his presentation to the South Centre Webinar on « Responsible Investment for Development and Human Rights: Assessing Different Mechanisms to Face Possible Investor-State Disputes from COVID-19 Related Measures, » which took place on 30 July 2020. You will find the recording of the webinar here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXPswKuywvA This work includes analysing the latest trends and emerging issues in the IIA, building the capacity of developing countries to negotiate and implement investment agreements that can promote sustainable investment, and providing a platform for universal, inclusive and transparent stakeholder engagement on these issues. Recent developments in the international investment regime: review of phase 2 reform measures New facilities? Polanyi, International Investment Law and Landrausch World (2013), Journal Article The Accelerator focuses on eight CEW provisions that are most in need of reform and which have seen a clear trend towards reform in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and safeguarding the state`s right to regulation in IIC. For each provision, the Reform ACCELERATEOR identifies sustainable development-oriented policy options (based on UNCTAD`s investment policy framework for sustainable development 2015) and proposes a ready-to-use model language that implements these options. The 2015 Action Plan, which underpins the SDGs, recognizes the role private investment played in strategies to achieve the goals. This raises questions about the establishment of an international legal framework to promote the right type of investment in response to the local development agenda and to ensure that business activities are aligned with and contribute to their achievement. Increased the bar for responsible investment: What role do investment contracts play?, Lorenzo Cotula (2018), IIED Briefing Land Deals and Investment Contracts: Interface Visualization, Lorenzo Cotula, Thierry Berger (2015), IIED Report China-Africa Investment Treaties: Do they work? Lorenzo Cotula, Xiaoxue Weng, Qianru Ma, Peng Ren (2016), research report The Accelerator shows how these options were used in the latest IDuunden and Model-BITs.

Explanatory comments accompany the model formulas to emphasize the purpose, provide basic information and explain the possibilities of combining different reform options. We support global efforts to reform the international investment regime by contributing to the technical analysis of ongoing reform processes and by encouraging informed public debate on policy reform issues.