Conference on business responsibilities and investment treaties



POSTPONED - 16 March 2020

The Investment Treaty Conference scheduled to take place in Paris on 16 March has been postponed due to travel and visitor precautions relating to the Coronavirus Covid-19. This page will be updated as new information is received.

16 March 2020 8h45 - 18h00 OECD Conference Centre, Paris, France

Business and human rights and responsible business conduct are fast-developing fields with converging approaches to business responsibilities. The convergence is demonstrated in the alignment of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and core International Labour Organisation standards. Governments, business, trade unions and civil society are all engaged in efforts in this area. 

The 2020 OECD Investment Treaty Conference will explore how governments have integrated and are integrating policies relating to business responsibilities into their trade and investment treaties, and potential policy options. Trade and investment treaties can affect business responsibilities including through: 

  • their impact on policy space for governments and in particular non-discriminatory regulation of business;
  • provisions that buttress domestic law or its enforcement, including in key areas such as labour, the environment, anti-corruption or human rights; or
  • provisions that speak directly to business by, for example, encouraging observance of RBC standards or establishing conditions for access to investment treaty benefits. 

This annual conference brings together senior policy makers and investment treaty negotiators from over 50 countries around the world for exchanges with leading representatives of business, civil society, academia and international organisations. 

A consultation paper on Business responsibilities and investment treaties by the OECD Secretariat was discussed by governments at the FOI Roundtable in October 2019 and has been made available for a public consultation in January-February 2020. The paper together with a compilation of public comments received during the consultation provides additional background for Conference participants and context for the individual sessions. 




OECD flags at conference centre entrance 350 pixels wide


Draft Agenda


OECD Conference Centre


2019 - Investment treaties and level playing fields

2018 - Treaty shopping and tools for investment treaty reform

2017 - Evaluating and enhancing outcomes of investment treaties

2016 - The quest for balance between investor protection and governments’ right to regulate

2015 - Investment treaties: Policy goals and public support



Public consultation on business responsibilities and investment treaties

OECD Freedom of Investment Roundtable

OECD work on international investment law


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