Follow-up Expert Meeting on Transformation of the International Investment Agreement Regime: the Path Ahead

25 February 2015
10:00 - 18:00 Europe/Zurich

UNCTAD convened a Expert Meeting on “The Transformation of the International Investment Agreement Regime”, on 25-27 February 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. Experts, including a wide range of stakeholders from the investment and development community, discussed today’s pressing reform issues and identified concrete strategies and action points that will help shape a sustainable-development friendly international investment framework and improved global investment governance.

  • Click here to see the list of IIA Experts 
  • Click here to find out more about the Report Back Project 

This UNCTAD Expert Meeting advanced discussions that were initiated at the IIA Conference “Reforming the International Investment Agreements Regime” at the World Investment Forum 2014 (16 October 2014).

The October 2014 IIA Conference

The October IIA Conference 2014 benefitted from statements by more than 50 high-level speakers, including chief IIA negotiators of many countries, senior business representatives, as well as representatives from relevant intergovernmental organizations and civil society. These statements addressed the challenges arising from international investment agreements (IIAs) and considered ways to reform the international investment policy regime. In so doing, the October IIA Conference:

  • sketched the contours of a roadmap for reform of the IIA regime;
  • recognized that Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD) and the IIA reform paths identified in the World Investment Report 2014 and 2013 could serve as valuable starting points; and
  • agreed that reform should be gradual but comprehensive.

Participants called upon UNCTAD to provide a multilateral platform for engagement on investment policy issues and to work with other stakeholders to further design the roadmap for the IIA reform.

Objective and approach for the February IIA Expert Meeting

The objective of the intensive three-day meeting in February was to further develop a roadmap for reform through an open and inclusive multi-stakeholder approach and thereby carry forward the work of the IIA Conference. The meeting consisted of a combination of plenary and break-out sessions. Discussions were result-oriented: building on today’s pressing issues, experts identified concrete strategies and action points that can help shape a sustainable-development friendly IIA regime.

Building on other existing initiatives – a repository of reform-oriented proposals

Ahead of the meeting, UNCTAD provided a platform for sharing the outcomes of other initiatives that address IIA reform, by means of facilitating a “report-back” on these initiatives. Reporting may cover two types of initiatives:

  • meetings, including inter-governmental, academic or multi-stakeholder events that have addressed IIA (including ISDS) reform;
  • research projects or papers, that have addressed IIA (including ISDS) reform.

Report backs will be placed in the publicly accessible “repository” of reform-oriented proposals on this web site. Contributions that received before February 20th will feed into experts’ deliberation during the meeting. 

Break-out session:

Side event - Towards New Model Agreements:

All background documents and additional information on recent IIAs are available at the UNCTAD’s IIA Navigator


Director, Investment and Enterprise Division, UNCTAD