The Expert Meeting on Experiences with Bilateral and Regional Approaches to Multilateral Cooperation in the Area of Long-term Cross-border Investment, particularly Foreign Direct Investment will be held from 12 to 14 June 2002 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will be opened at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 12 June 2002. Documents concerning this Expert Meeting and other UNCTAD meetings can be found on the UNCTAD website (www.unctad.org).
The Expert Meeting is expected to shed light on the issue of the implications of closer multilateral cooperation in the area of cross-border investment, particularly foreign direct investment, for the development policies and objectives of developing countries. More specifically, the Meeting will undertake a stocktaking of common elements and experiences with bilateral and regional approaches and other initiatives in this area, and outline the challenges that have emerged in negotiations and approaches. It will also focus on the evolution of these approaches in the national, regional and international context with a view to highlighting common and different elements in them and addressing how the development dimension has been and could be taken into account.
The provisional agenda for the Meeting, together with the secretariat’s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/COM.2/EM.11/1. The UNCTAD secretariat is preparing, as official documentation for the Meeting, an issues note entitled “Experiences with bilateral and regional approaches to multilateral cooperation in the area of long-term cross-border investment, particularly foreign direct investment" (TD/B/COM.2/EM.11/2), aimed at facilitating the discussions. In addition, experts are encouraged to submit specific contributions on (i) differences, similarities and changes over time in instruments dealing with investment matters; (ii) experiences with the implementation of development-friendly provisions of international investment agreements; and/or (iii) ideas on how the development dimension in international investment agreements could be taken into account. These papers will be made available to other participants in the form and language in which they are received.
Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date and not later than 15 May 2002. Experts, who will participate in the Meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject, and may be selected from Governments, the academic world, the public and private sectors, and NGOs. Experts may include representatives from Governments’ authorities charged with negotiating international investment agreements, or responsible for the countries’ FDI policies. In addition, experts from regional organizations dealing with investment matters will be invited.
With regard to financing the participation of experts in UNCTAD expert meetings, Governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition are requested to nominate one expert as a possible beneficiary of financing for this Expert Meeting.
Nominations should be received at least four weeks before the Meeting, and they should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae of the nominee, his or her address, telephone number and fax number, and the name of a contact person in the Permanent Mission in Geneva. The Secretary-General of UNCTAD will base his decisions as to which experts should receive financing on the principle of equitable geographical representation, beneficiary needs and the expertise of the experts concerned. It should be noted in this connection that the funds available will make it possible to finance the participation of 10 experts from developing countries and countries in transition. Once the list of experts has been finalized, the Secretary-General will have all travel arrangements made in accordance with United Nations financial rules and regulations, though use of the least costly travel fare will be authorized.
Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badge at the UN Security Service, Villa Les Feuillantines, 13 Avenue de la Paix (close to the main entrance to the Palais on the Place des Nations, on the opposite side of the road). The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Due to the existing security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive by 8.30 a.m. in order to complete procedures and reach the Meeting in good time. Walking from Villa Les Feuillantines to the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais takes about 10 minutes. Participants are advised to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them.
Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the Meeting, 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 15 May 2002.
All communications concerning representation at the Meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10 (fax: +41(0)22 917 0056; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinator in the substantive division, Mr. Assad Omer (tel: +41(0)22 917 5696; fax: +41(0)22 917 0194; e-mail: email@example.com).
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
22 April 2002