International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), specialized agency of the United Nations. A member of the World Bank Group (see International Bank for Reconstruction and Development), it was formed in 1966 and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. In an effort to help promote increased flows of international investment, ICSID assists in the mediation or conciliation of investment disputes between governments and private foreign investors. Participation in such arbitration is voluntary. Normally the parties are among the agency's 147 member states or citizens of those states, but in special circumstances nonparticipating states or individuals from such states may be accepted as mediating parties. An autonomous international organization, ICSID has close links with the World Bank; it operates through both an administrative council, chaired by the World Bank's president, and a secretariat.
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