The legal regimes that underpin the international economy often protect foreign investors at the expense of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), which are characterized by poverty, low human development, and economic vulnerability. These countries, with fragile political systems and few human or financial resources, find it difficult or impossible to contest the claims of transnational corporations in arbitration proceedings. This creates a dilemma in which those countries most in need of foreign investment are least able to defend themselves against unfair and unsustainable investment practices in their own territories.

Abdulqawi A. Yusuf is a judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague and vice president of the court since February 2015. He is a member of the Institut de Droit International, a member of the panel of arbitrators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, and a member of the Governing Board of the International Congress and Convention Association. He is the founding chairman of the African Institute of International Law (AIIL) in  Arusha, Tanzania, and founder and general editor of the African Yearbook of International Law.Yusuf is the author of publications on various aspects of international law. He holds a PhD in international law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.