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Moreover, these efforts raise new concerns, which may be imminent for governments, which may further affect their economies and which would complicate their efforts to implement the public policy measures necessary for a sustainable and safe reconstruction. Governments could address investor-state arbitration applications that challenge their emergency COVID measures, given that foreign investors use the dispute settlement mechanism embedded in many international investment agreements (AI) and investment contracts. ICSID also maintains a list of other investment contracts including multilateral investment agreements and multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements containing investment provisions related to the full text of the agreements. This risk may seem hypothetical. However, the past has shown that major crises, from economic organization to humanitarian, have often been followed by ISDS arbitration, as foreign investors claim that their investments have been unjustifiably expropriated or that they have not been subjected to “fair and equitable treatment”. 15 Investor-State dispute settlement (ISDR) has long been recognized as a deeply problematic mechanism that in recent years has spurred demands for reform from several quarters. The latest figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) show the total number of ISDS arbitrations to more than 1,0009. The compensation expenses of these cases are often juicy, with some of the biggest rewards in billions of dollars. There are also more than 3,000 international investment agreements and investment contracts, many of which have an ISDS mechanism10.

Bilateral Investment Agreements (ILOs) are state-to-state agreements that set minimum guarantees for the treatment of foreign investment. IIA Navigator This IIAs database – the IIA Navigator – is managed by the IIA section of UNCTAD. You can browse THE IIAs that are completed by a given country or group of countries, view the recently concluded IIAs, or use advanced research for sophisticated research tailored to your needs. Please note: UNCTAD, International Investment Agreements Navigator, available in investmentpolicy.unctad.org/international-investment-agreements/ International Investment Agreements (IA) are divided into two types: (1) bilateral investment agreements and (2) contracts with investment rules. A bilateral investment agreement (ILO) is an agreement between two countries to promote and protect investments made by investors from the countries concerned in the territory of the other country.