Expert Meeting on International Investment Agreements: Concepts Allowing for a Certain Flexibility in the Interest of Promoting Growth and Development
24 - 26 March 1999

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The Expert Meeting on International Investment Agreements: Concepts Allowing for a Certain Flexibility in the Interest of Promoting Growth and Development will be held from 24 to 26 March 1999. It will open at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 24 March. The Meeting is being convened on the basis of a decision taken by the Commission on Investment, Technology and Related Financial Issues at its third session to examine "concepts — such as exceptions and other mechanisms — allowing for a certain flexibility, including in the field of technological capacity–building, in the interest of promoting growth and development — to allow countries in different stages of development to benefit from international investment agreements", in pursuance of paragraph 89(b) of "A Partnership for Growth and Development". The provisional agenda, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, will be circulated as document TD/B/COM.2/EM.5/1.

In accordance with paragraph 114 of A Partnership for Growth and Development" (TD/378) adopted by UNCTAD IX, Member States are requested to nominate experts who will participate in their personal capacities. Experts are expected to have proven expertise in the subject under discussion, and may be selected from the academic world, public and private sectors and NGOs. In this respect, it would be particularly desirable if experts were to be selected who have been involved in the negotiation of international investment agreements.

With regard to financing the participation of developing country experts in UNCTAD expert meetings, attention is drawn to Trade and Development Board decision 456(XLV), and in particular to paragraphs 1(a)(ii), 1(b) and 2 of that decision.

The UNCTAD secretariat has prepared, as official documentation for the Meeting, a note on "International investment agreements and concepts allowing for flexibility in the interest of promoting growth and development" (TD/B/COM.2/EM.5/2), aimed at facilitating the discussions.

In addition, experts are encouraged to prepare brief papers on the subject under discussion, indicating ways and means by which international investment agreements with which they are familiar have provided for flexibility in the interest of growth and development in their objectives, substantive provisions, implementation mechanisms and overall structure of the agreements, and evaluating, as far as possible, the effectiveness of these ways and means in promoting development. These papers will be made available to other participants in the form and language in which they are received.

States members of UNCTAD wishing to nominate experts to the Meeting are requested to do so by 8 March 1999. Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the session, as well as non-governmental organizations in the General Category and those in the Special Category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by the same date.

All communications concerning representation at the session should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Services, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10. (Fax: +41 22 907 00 56, e-Mail: All other enquires should be addressed to the Secretary of the Meeting (Tel: +41 22 907 5797; Fax: +41 22 907 00 56; e-mail:

Rubens Ricupero
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
5 February 1999


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