OTHER INTERNATINAL ENGAGEMENT
The Department for the Protection of the Interests of the Republic of Armenia in International Arbitration and Foreign Courts, operating under the Office of the Representative on International Legal Matters, is also actively involved in the working groups of the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as well as represented the Republic of Armenia during the negotiations for the modernization of the Energy Charter Treaty.
Involvement in UNCITRAL working groups
On 15 March 2022, the UN General Assembly granted membership status to the Republic of Armenia in UNCITRAL for a period of 6 years, starting from June 27, 2022. The membership status, among others, was due to the active involvement of the Republic of Armenia in various working groups.
Since the establishment of the Department, it has ensured the Republic of Armenia’s participation in the UNCITRAL Working Group III that focuses on Investor-State Dispute Settlement Reform. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the sessions from 2019 to November 2020 were held online. In the following period, the Department’s employees have participated in the sessions held in Vienna and New York, where they presented the positions of the Republic of Armenia and delivered speeches on discussed topics.
Additionally, the Department follows the discussions of the UNCITRAL Working Group II on dispute settlement, which in recent years have focused on technology-related dispute settlement and rulings, as well as legal issues and their settlement within the framework of the digital economy.
Starting in September 2022, the Department’s employees are acting as experts for the UNCITRAL CLOUT (Case Law on UNCITRAL texts) system and are also involved in its steering committee. The aim of the project is to gather and process court interpretations of legal texts adopted within the framework of UNCITRAL from different countries and create a unified system based on them. As part of this effort, the Department has presented six abstracts, which are expected to be published in the UNCITRAL CLOUT system in 2023.
More information about UNCITRAL’s activities can be found at the following link.
Within the UNCITRAL Working Group III, the Department has made written submissions on the following two topics:
- the Code of Conduct for Adjudicators in International Investment Disputes, which can be accessed through this link;
- Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, which can be found at this link.
Energy Charter Treaty Modernization Negotiations
The Energy Charter Treaty is a multinational agreement aimed at the protection and promotion of international investments in the energy sector, with currently 53 Contracting Parties as members. The Republic of Armenia became a signatory to the Energy Charter Treaty in 1994.
During negotiations to modernize the treaty, the Department presented Armenia’s stance on investment protection and dispute resolution, and ensured that favorable decisions were made for Armenia. As a result of the negotiations, the Contracting Parties reached an agreement in principle, which was approved on 24 June 2022 within the ad hoc meeting of the Energy Charter Conference. The proposed revisions aim to modernize and reform the regulations to protect international investments in the energy sector while recognizing the freedom of states to regulate. The updated version of the treaty also incorporates provisions on climate change, aligning it with the Paris climate agreement. The Energy Charter Conference is expected to take a position on the adoption of the revised Treaty in 2023. Additional information on the International Energy Charter’s activities, including the modernization efforts, can be found at the following link.