2016 High-Level International Investment Agreements (IIA) Conference

Carrying IIA reform to the next level
19 July 2016
15:00 - 18:00 Africa/Nairobi

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)


Secretary-General, UNCTAD
Director of Multilateral Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Argentina
Assistant Secretary, Trade and Investment Law Branch, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Australia
Deputy Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of Australia to the WTO
Secretary of Foreign Trade Ministry of Development,Industry and Foreign Trade, Brazil
Director-General Trade Policy Negotiations Global Affairs, Permanent Mission of Canada in Geneva
Deputy Director-General, Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, China
General Manager, National Investment Promotion Agency, Union of the Comoros
Director General, National Investment Promotion Agency, Djibouti
Director of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Dominican Republic
Under Secretary of State - Head of International Cooperation Dept., Executive Director's Office, General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, Egypt
Directorate-General for Trade, Director - Directorate B Services and Investment, Intellectual Property and Public Procurement, European Commission
Advisor Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Germany
Joint Secretary (Investment & Currency) Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, India
Ambassador, International Economic Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
Minister of Finance, Kenya and Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury, Kenya
Director of Private Investment Promotion and International Cooperation, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development, Mauritania
Deputy Director General, Investment Promotion Centre, Mozambique
Deputy Permanent Representative to the WTO, Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Geneva
Acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission
Ambassador, International Economic Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea
Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Economic Development, Russian Federation
Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency
Senior State Counsellor, International Legal Affairs Unit, Ministry of Finance, Slovak Republic
Assistant Legal Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka
Deputy Director General, International Trade and Economic Development Division, Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa
Deputy Head of Unit, Trade in Services and Investment, Department of Trade, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Spain
Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN, Switzerland
Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand
Director of Investment Promotion & Facilitation, The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Finance & Development, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, US Department of State, United States
Chair, International Trade Committee Chair, European Parliament
Director, Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration
Investment Expert, Energy Charter Secretariat (ECS) on behalf of Mr. Urban Rusnak, Secretary-General, International Energy Secretaria
Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
Assistant Director-General, Islamic Centre for Development of Trade
Investment Promotion Specialist, Investment Promotion Program, Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
Director, OECD Development Centre and Acting Director, OECD Development Cooperation Directorate
Chief Trade Adviser, Office of The Chief Trade Adviser Pacific Island Countries
Researcher, Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC)
Senior Advisor on Finance and Development, The South Centre
Global Lead, Investment Policy & Promotion Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank
Director, International Trade Law Division, UNCITRAL
Director, Regional Integration and Trade Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Policy Officer, Both Ends
Secretary-General, CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition
Group Director Economic Law & Policy, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Deputy General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
Legal Counsel, Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
Consultant, Third World Network