The Mandate


Working Group III has been entrusted working on the possible reform of investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) since July 2017. The Working Group is tasked with identifying concerns regarding ISDS, considering whether reform is desirable and, if so, developing recommendations.

The three topics have been identified as "phases" of Working Group III's mandate and process. Working Group III concluded its sessions in respect of the first two "phases" in November 2018. It is now focused on the development of new ISDS mechanisms and approaches. 

At the 39th session, the Working Group is expected to continue its consideration of the following reform options  (i) dispute prevention and mitigation as well as other means of alternative dispute resolution; (ii) treaty interpretation by States parties; (iii) security for costs and means to address frivolous claims; (v) multiple proceedings including counterclaims;

(vi) reflective loss and shareholder claims based on joint work with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; and (vi) a multilateral instrument on ISDS reform.

Meeting Frequency

Working Group III meets twice a year - in April and November with sessions taking place in New York and Vienna respectively. The Working Group's sessions are heavily subscribed and see delegate involvement from a variety of interested States and related stakeholders.

Working Group III's next session will take place between 5 October - 9 October 2020 in Vienna. UNCITRAL is currently providing for appropriate arrangements to enable both in-person and remote participation. The information sheet for the upcoming session can be accessed here.

Further Information

As with other Working Groups, Working Group III maintains an online record of its latest work and agendas for forthcoming meetings. The relevant information is available here.

This page was last updated in September 2020. 


What's next?

The forefront of Working Group III's work can be gleaned from its latest reports from its 37th and 38th meetings, which took place in 2019 and 2020. The official UNCITRAL reports from each of these sessions are available below:

The next Working Group III meetings are scheduled as follows:

5-9 October 2020, Vienna 

12-16 April 2021, New York

15-19 November 2021, Vienna (falls on Gurpurab) (tentative)


UNCCA Resources

UNCCA has been closely involved in reporting on Working Group III's deliberations and progress in the past years, and has had the privilege of sending delegates to be part of the 37th and 38th sessions in 2019 and 2020 respectively. 

Reports produced by UNCCA members are accessible below, and may be more reader-friendly than the official UNCITRAL reports, for example. Click the buttons to download the files: