Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2014

Achieving sustainable development objectives in international investment: Could future IIAs impose sustainable development-related obligations on investors?

John Gaffney, Janani Sarvanantham

November 2013

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment


A number of international organizations have adopted varying approaches to the promotion of sustainable development in international investment - these range from non-binding principles and guidelines to design options for the integration of sustainable development objectives into international investment agreements (IIAs). The proposed implementation of these IIA sustainable development design options has potentially significant implications for the content of future IIAs, as well as for investor-State dispute settlement.