As we already informed, on 21 April 2021, expert of our Association professor Borys Babin took active participation in the Consultation for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia, convened by the UN Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises [1]. Consultations were co-organized by the Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business (Poland) and Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University (Ukraine) in framework of the preparation the Working Group’s 2021 report to the UN General Assembly, that will focus on providing practical guidance to States on negotiating human rights-compatible investment agreements in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. 58 participants from 19 States from the Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia region registered in the Consultations and 31 participants from 15 States actually took part in the event [2].

In his submission for Consultation’s participants Dr. Babin stressed, giving as examples some certain pending international arbitrary cases, on the specific situation of legal defense the investments in the occupied Crimea, regarding the Ukrainian-Russian Bilateral Investment Treaty, 1998 and norms of the international human rights law defending the right to property [1]. Now, in the framework of preparation the UN Working Group’s report to the UN General Assembly, the Summary of the discussions from this Consultation on Human Rights-Compatible International Investment Agreements was published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [3].

In its points 25 and 32 of this Summary the proposals of our Association were reflected, recognizing that in conflict-affected regions, investment treaties can serve as a tool for the protection of some human rights more effectively than classic human rights instruments. This can be relevant for both, State-to-State and investor-State cases and refers in particular to the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions. So the participants of Consultations agreed that even in their current shape, investment agreements and investment chapters in trade agreements can play a role in protecting human rights in conflict-affected settings, providing for dispute resolution mechanisms which may be more effective than those present in human rights treaties. Our Association will continue the consultations on modern challenges of business and human rights with above-pointed UN structures and their academic partners, regarding current Crimean examples and situation.

1. https://arc.construction/13922

2. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/IIAs.aspx

3. https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Business/2021_06_05_CEE_CA_Consultations_HR-Compliants_IIAs_Summary.docx