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

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.