2016 High-Level International Investment Agreements Conference

Carrying IIA reform to the next level

Date: 19 July 2016
Time: 15:00 – 18:00
Location: Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Amphitheatre
Interpretation: English, French

The current International Investment Agreements (IIAs) regime is multilayered, multifaceted and highly fragmented, and its reform has become a “must”. The IIA regime reform should be guided by sustainable development objectives, focus on critical areas, include actions at all levels, take a systematic and sequential approach, and ensure inclusiveness and transparency. Working towards more coherence in an IIA regime consisting of thousands of agreements is a global challenge that calls for coordinated action from all stakeholders. Providing guidance for this endeavour, the UNCTAD World Investment Report (WIR) 2015 developed an action-oriented road map for sustainable development oriented IIA reform.

The 2016 IIA Conference will bring together a wide range of stakeholders in the international investment and development community and advance the debate on the future direction of the IIA regime. Speakers and participants will discuss key IIA reform issues, bringing in national, regional and interregional perspectives and drawing lessons from the first steps towards IIA reform that are underway in many parts of the world. In so doing, the Conference will implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the outcome document of the Financing for Development (FfD) Summit, which mandates UNCTAD to continue its meetings and consultations with Member States on investment agreements. The Conference will also respond to the FfD outcome document’s recognition that the goal of protecting and encouraging investment should not affect countries’ ability to pursue public policy objectives.

The event will result in a summary documenting the shared view on ways for IIA reform, outlining policy options and actions for key reform areas, and taking stock of the progress towards reform. It will provide best practices and lessons learnt for countries to adapt and adopt.


  • Policy options for an improved global IIA regime
  • Paths towards a reform of the current investment dispute settlement mechanisms
  • Lessons learnt from the first phase of IIA reform activities (e.g. review of IIAs, development of a new model treaty and negotiations of new, more modern IIAs)
  • Action points on how to move IIA reform to the second phase (e.g. addressing the systemic risks and incoherence of the large body of old treaties).


Opening remarks

Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD Secretary-General


Chief Negotiators

  • Mr. Enrique Ferrer Vieyra, Director of Multilateral Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Argentina (Statement)
  • Ms. Patricia Holmes, Assistant Secretary, Trade and Investment Law Branch, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Australia, intervention delivered by Mr. Simon Farbenbloom, Deputy Permanent Representative, Australian Permanent Mission to the WTO, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Australia (Statement)
  • H.E. Mr. Daniel Godinho, Secretary of Trade, Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Brazil (Statement)
  • Mr. David Usher, Director-General, Trade Policy Negotiations, Global Affairs Canada, Canada (Statement)
  • Mr. Wenliang Yao, Deputy Director-General, Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, China
  • Mr. Daoud Saidali Toihir, General Manager, National Investment Promotion Agency, Comoros
  • Mr. Mahdi Darar Obsieh, Director-General, National Investment Promotion Agency, Djibouti
  • Ms. Katrina Naut, Director of Foreign trade, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Dominican Republic
  • Ms. Thoraya El Sayeh, Under Secretary of State – Head of International Cooperation Department, Executive Director’s Office, General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), Egypt
  • Mr. Rupert Schlegelmilch, Director, Directorate B, Services and Investment, Intellectual Property and Public Procurement, Directorate-General for Trade, European Union (Statement)
  • Mr. Jens Benninghofen, Adviser, Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology, Germany
  • H.E. Mr. Saurabh Garg, Joint Secretary (Currency and Investment), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, India (Statement)
  • H.E. Mr. Toshiro Suzuki, Ambassador, International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan (Statement)
  • H.E. Mr. Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury, Kenya
  • Mr. Moctar Kane, Director, Private Investment Promotion and International Cooperation, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development, Mauritania (Statement)
  • Mr. Godinho Alves, Deputy Director-General, Investment Promotion Centre (CPI), Mozambique
  • Ms. Elsbeth Akkerman, Deputy Permanent Representative to the WTO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands (Statement)
  • Ms. Ladi Katagum, Acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Nigeria
  • H.E. Hye-min Lee, Ambassador, International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea
  • Mr. Denis Ulin, Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Economic Development, Russian Federation
  • Mr. Raymond Gbekie, Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), Sierra Leone
  • Ms. Miriama Kiselyova, Senior State Counsellor, International Legal Affairs Unit, Ministry of Finance, Slovak Republic
  • Ms. Tilanie Silva, Assistant Legal Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka (Statement)
  • Ms. Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, Deputy Director-General, International Trade and Economic Development Division, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), South Africa
  • Mr. Javier Peña, Deputy Head of Unit, Trade in Services and Investment, Department of Trade, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Spain (Statement)
  • Mr. Edouard Jay, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN, Switzerland
  • Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand (Statement)
  • Mr. Modou Lamin Sowe, Director of Investment Promotion & Facilitation, The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency, The Gambia
  • H.E. Mr. Mark Matthews, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom (Statement)
  • H.E. Ms. Lisa Kubiske, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Finance & Development, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, US Department of State, United States


  • Mr. Bernd Lange, Chair, International Trade Committee, European Parliament

International Organizations

  • Mr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Director, Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA)
  • Mr. Matteo Barra, Investment Expert, Energy Charter Secretariat (ECS) on behalf of Mr. Urban Rusnak, Secretary-General, International Energy Secretariat (Statement)
  • Ms. Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  • Mr. Mokhtar Warida, Assistant Director-General, Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT)
  • Mr. Mohamed Kamal, Investment Promotion Specialist, Investment Promotion Program, Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
  • Mr. Mario Pezzini, Director, OECD Development Centre and Acting Director, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD (Statement)
  • Mr. Edwini Kessie, Chief Trade Adviser, Office of the Chief Trade Adviser Pacific Island Countries (OCTAPIC) (Statement)
  • Mr. Cem Tintin, Researcher, Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) (Statement)
  • Mr. Manuel Montes, Senior Advisor on Finance and Development, South Centre
  • Mr. Roberto Echandi, Global Lead, Investment Policy & Promotion, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, The World Bank Group
  • Mr. Renaud Sorieul, Director, International Trade Law Division, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) (Statement)
  • Mr. Stephen Karingi, Director, Regional Integration and Trade Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) (Statement)

Civil Society

  • Mr. Burghard Ilge, Policy Officer, Both Ends (Statement)
  • Mr. Pradeep Mehta, Secretary-General, CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition (Statement)
  • Ms. Nathalie Bernasconi, Group Director, Economic Law & Policy, International Institute on Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Mr. Wellington Chibebe, Deputy General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), intervention delivered by Ms. Khamati Mugalla, Executive Secretary of the East Africa Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) (Statement)
  • Ms. Sukma Dwi Andrina, Legal Counsel, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) (Statement)
  • Ms. Jane Kelsey, Consultant, Third World Network (TWN) (Statement)

Background material

  • UNCTAD World Investment Report 2016 (Chapter III) pp. 101-122 (Link)
  • UNCTAD IIA Issues Note: Taking Stock of IIA Reform (2016) (Link)
  • UNCTAD Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (2015) (Link)
  • UNCTAD Roadmap for IIA Reform (2015) (Link)
  • UNCTAD’s IIA Conference 2016: Taking IIA Reform to the Next Level, Mr. James Zhan and Ms. Diana Rosert (Investment Treaty News, 12 December 2016) (Link)



  • UNCTAD International Investment Agreements Navigator (IIA Database) (Link)
  • UNCTAD Investment Dispute Settlement Navigator (ISDS Database) (Link)
  • IIA Mapping Project(Link)

Past IIA events

For further information, please contact: WIF_IIA_Conference@unctad.org