Reforming the International Investment Agreements Regime

IIA Conference

Date: 16 October 2014
Time: 09:00-13:00
Location: Palais des Nations, Room XXVI
Organizing parties:

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More than 50 key stakeholders, including chief IIA negotiators of many countries, from North and South, from East and West, senior business representatives, as well as representatives from relevant inter-governmental organisations and civil society attended the IIA Conference “Reforming the International Investment Agreements Regime” at the World Investment Forum 2014 on 16 October to address the challenges arising from international investment agreements (IIAs) and consider ways to reform the international investment policy regime. Participants engaged in real-time and cutting-edge interaction between IIA experts from all around the globe that will shape the reform of the IIA regime and investment dispute settlement towards sustainable development objectives. The statements presented at the conference can be found below.

The IIA Conference focused on the following main questions:

  • What are the key areas and pressing issues in IIAs and investment dispute settlement that need to be addressed?
  • What are the key ways and means to address these issues?
  • What types of mechanisms and platforms are needed to facilitate the reform?

The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Rupert Schlegelmilch(Director, European Commission), Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi (Director-General, Thailand), Ms. Niklasina Kruger (Chief Director, South Africa) and Ms. Meg Kinnear (Secretary-General, ICSID). A technical summary prepared by the Secretariat is available, as well as a press release. During the IIA Conference a live online survey on reform of IIAs and ISDS took place. Click here to see the results.

Through all of this, the IIA Conference generated four concrete outcomes:

  • Agreement that the regime of IIAs and related dispute settlement need to be reformed in a comprehensive and gradual way, taking into account the interests of a all stakeholders.
  • Identification of pressing issues in IIAs and investment dispute settlement that need to be addressed and ways and means to do this.
  • Development of the contours of a roadmap for the reform of the IIA regime.
  • Recognition that individual reform efforts are useful but not sufficient and that only a joint, multilateral effort can be truly effective.

The debate continued at UNCTAD Expert Meeting on 25-27 February 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Background material

The debate built upon the recently launched World Investment Report 2014 (WIR14) – Investing in the SDGs: An Action Plan. The following publications will be also relevant to the debate:

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Elisabeth Tuerk
Chief, International Investment Agreements Section
Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD

Lead Discussants and Statements

Opening statement: Mr. James Zhan, Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD [Download]

Chief Negotiators of International IIAs

  • Mr. Germán A. Herrera Bartis, Director, Directorate of International Trade and FDI Promotion Strategy, Undersecretariat for Investment Development and Trade Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentina [Statement]
  • Ms. Afroza Khan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Industries, Bangladesh [Statement]
  • H.E. Ms. Marion Williams, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations and Other International Organizations at Geneva, Barbados [Statement]
  • Mr. Ruslan Varankov, First Secretary, Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belarus [Statement]
  • Ms. Samira Sulejmanovic, Head of Unit, Bilateral Trade Relations, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Bosnia and Herzegovina [Statement]
  • Mr. Daniel Godinho, Secretary of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Brazil [Statement]
  • Mr. John O’Neill, Deputy Permanent Representative, Multilateral Representation of Canada in  Geneva, Canada [Statement]
  • Mr. Rodrigo Monardes, Head Services, Investment and Air Transport Department, General Directorate of International Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile
  • Ms. Gamze Kahyaoğlu, Foreign Trade Expert, Ministry of Economy, Turkey
  • Ms. Yongjie Li, Director, Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Commerce, China [Statement]
  • Ms. Adriana Vargas Saldarriaga, Director, Foreign Investment, Services and Intellectual Property, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Colombia [Statement]
  • Ms. Irena Alajbeg, Head, Trade and Economic Agreements Department, Directorate for Trade Policy and Economic Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Croatia [Statement]
  • Mr. Christian Pino, Executive Secretary, Commission for the Citizens’ Integral Audit of Reciprocal Investment Protection Treaties and the International Investment Arbitration System (CAITISA), National Secretariat for Planning and Development, Ecuador [Statement]
  • Ms. Wafaa Sobhy Ibrahim, Vice Chairman, General Authority for Investment (GAFI), Egypt [Statement]
  • Mr. Etienne Oudot de Dainville, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy and Investment, Treasury, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Foreign Trade, France [Statement]
  • Mr. Hans-Joachim Henckel, Director General, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany [Statement]
  • Mr. Saurabh Garg, Joint Secretary (Investment), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, India [Statement]
  • H.E. Mr. Triyono Wibowo, Permanent Representative / Ambassador Indonesia, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, WTO and Other International Organisations, Indonesia [Statement]
  • Ms. Roslyn Ng’eno, Manager, Policy Advocacy, Kenya Investment Authority, Kenya
  • H.E. Mr. Fernando de Mateo y Venturini,  Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Mexico to the WTO in Geneva, Mexico [Statement]
  • Mr. Irmuun Demberel, Director Consultancy and Services Division, Invest Mongolia Agency, Mongolia [Statement]
  • Ms. Amina Ousmoi, Chief of Service, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Morocco [Statement]
  • Mr. Malan Lindeque,  Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Namibia [Statement]
  • Mr. Marten van den Berg, Deputy Director General, Foreign Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
  • Ms. Patience Okola, Legal Advisor, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Nigeria [Statement]
  • Ms. Vanessa Rivas Plata Saldarriaga, Investment Affairs Coordinator, National Directorate of Multilateral Affairs and International Trade Negotiations, Vice Ministry of Foreign Trade, Peru [Statement]
  • Ms. Andrea Holíková, Director, of Specific State Operations, Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, Slovakia [Statement]
  • Ms. Champika Malalgoda, Director, Research and Policy Advocacy Department of Board of Investment of Sri Lanka [Statement]
  • Mr. Christian Etter, Head, Special Foreign Economic Service Division, Foreign Economic Affairs Directorate, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Switzerland [Statement]
  • Ms. Niki Kruger, Chief Director,  International Trade and Economic Development Division, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), South Africa
  • Mr. Gongsakdi, Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand
  • Mr. Michael Tracton, Director, Office of Investment Affairs, Department of State, United States [Statement]
  • Mr. Tobias Mulimbika, Director, Department of Industry, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI), Zambia [Statement]

International Organizations

  • Mr. Matteo Barra, Expert Officer on International Energy Investments, Energy Charter Secretariat (ECS) [Statement]
  • Mr. Rupert Schlegelmilch, Director, European Commission, Directorate B – Services and Investment, Intellectual Property and Public Procurement, Directorate-General for Trade, European Union (EU) [Statement]
  • Ms. Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  • Mr. Edwini Kessie, Chief Trade Adviser, Office of the Chief Trade Adviser, Pacific Island Countries (OCTA) [Statement]
  • Mr. David Gaukrodger, Senior Legal Adviser, Investment Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [Statement]
  • Ms. Jane Connors, Director, Research and Right to Development Division, United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) [Statement]
  • Ms. Annette Magnusson, Secretary General, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) [Statement]
  • Mr. Martin Khor, Executive Director, South Centre
  • Mr. Timothy Lemay, Principal Legal Officer, International Trade Law Division (ITLD), United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) and Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) [Statement]

Civil Society

  • Ms. Lise Johnson, Head of Investment Law and Policy Porgram, Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI) [Statement]
  • Mr. Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary-General, CUTS International [Statement]
  • Mr. Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
  • Ms. Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Group Director, Economic Law and Policy, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) [Statement]
  • Ms. Sanya Reid Smith, Legal Advisor and Senior Researcher, Third World Network (TWN)
  • Ms. Carolin Vollmann, Economic Advisor & Research Officer, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) [Statement]

Private Sector

  • Ms. Stormy-Annika Mildner, Head of Department External Economic Policy, Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V. (BDI), Germany [Statement]
  • Mr. Winand Quaedvlieg, Deputy Director, International Economic Affairs Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers VNO-NCW, in his capacity of  Chair of the Investment Committee of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) [Statement]
  • Mr. James Lockett, Vice-President and Head of Trade Facilitation and Market Access, Huawei Technologies, China [Statement]
  • Mr. Peter Robinson, President and CEO, United States Council for International Business (USCIB), United States [Statement]
  • Mr. Shaun Donnelly, Vice President, Investment and Financial Services, United States Council for International Business (USCIB), United States