Conduct of Conciliation After the First Session - ICSID Convention Conciliation (2022)

The role of the Commission is to clarify the issues in dispute between the parties and to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of all or part of the dispute (Article 34 of the Convention and Conciliation Rule 24(1)). ICSID conciliation is thus a form of amicable dispute resolution, with notable differences from mediation, such as for example the scope of application, number of conciliators, the default appointment procedure, the powers of the Commission.

The parties must cooperate with the Commission in good faith to achieve this goal (Article 34(1) of the Convention and Conciliation Rule 29(1)). The Commission must conduct the conciliation in good faith and in an expeditious and cost-effective manner (Conciliation Rule 25(1)), treat the parties equally, and provide each party with a reasonable opportunity to appear and participate (Conciliation Rule 25(2)).

To assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution, the Commission may communicate with the parties jointly or separately (Conciliation Rule 24(4)(b)), request information and further written statements from either party (Conciliation Rule 24(4)(a)) and 30(2)), and visit any place connected with the dispute (Conciliation Rule 24(4)(c)).

Throughout the conciliation, the Commission will issue procedural orders required for the conduct of the conciliation and must apply any agreement of the parties on procedural matters to the extent that it does not conflict with the Convention and the Administrative and Financial Regulations (Conciliation Rule 26).

The Commission may meet with the parties either jointly or separately (‘shuttle diplomacy’) (Conciliation Rule 32(1)) to assist the parties in finding a mutually acceptable resolution.

During a conciliation, the Commission may, after consulting the parties, recommend that the parties refrain from taking specific action that might aggravate the dispute or recommend specific terms of settlement (Conciliation Rule 24(2)(b)). Such recommendations may be made orally or in writing and either party may request that the Commission provide reasons. (Conciliation Rule 24(3)).