unctad.org | Multi-year expert meeting on investment for development (fourth session)
Multi-year expert meeting on investment for development (fourth session)
05 - 06 December 2011
Room XXVI, Palais des Nations

Key Issues

Making investment contribute to development:
The policy perspective

The expert meeting will pull together the findings of the three previous meetings to draw the lessons that can be derived from making investment contribute to development from the policy perspective, and the special role of public–private partnerships.

This last session is thus intended to summarize the work of the multi-year expert meeting from the policy perspective, bringing to a close the cycle of work undertaken on the subject matter in time for the next conference.

The timing of the fourth session suggests that it will also serve as a preparatory step towards UNCTAD XIII – in particular, the deliberations under sub-theme 4: Promoting investment, trade, entrepreneurship and related development policies to foster sustained economic growth for sustainable and inclusive development, and the related second ministerial roundtable on 22 April 2012.

The current investment policy regime has become more complex, diversified, and interconnected with various other policy areas. As a consequence, investment policymakers are faced with new and complex challenges, both at the national and international level. Furthermore, the recent economic and financial crises have brought the issue of how to readjust the regulatory powers of the State in the economy to the centre of discussions.

There has also been a general trend of rebalancing investment policies. In particular, policymakers have been seeking to “protect” sensitive industries and national security, and have been aiming to promote responsible investment. Finding the “right” balance between investment liberalization and regulation is a major challenge, especially in light of growing concerns about investment protectionism. At the international level, policymakers are faced with an increasingly complex system of thousands of international investment agreements (IIAs), many ongoing negotiations, and multiple dispute-settlement mechanisms. Today’s atomized system of bilateral and regional investment relationships, together with the special situation of most developing countries, and the absence of a multilateral investment regime, create additional challenges, calling for a more coordinated approach towards IIAs.

Experts will be requested to elaborate on, and add to, the key issue areas identified by the secretariat. Experts are also asked to shed light on other areas of concern and future consideration in this regard.

Inputs from experts

Experts nominated by member States are encouraged to submit brief papers (up to five pages in length) as contributions to the work of the meeting. The papers should deal with issues relevant to the topic of the meeting, including in relation to their country´s experiences.

The papers will be made available at the meeting and on the Website in the form and language in which they are received.

Papers should be submitted by 25 November 2011 and addressed to:

Ms. Janelle Park
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

F.: +41 22 917 0122
E.: janelle.park@unctad.org

Agenda

Documents

Notification

The fourth session of the Multi-year Expert Meeting on Investment for Development will be held 5-6 December 2011, in room XXVI of the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will commence at 10 a.m. on Monday, 5 December 2011.

Background and purpose of the meeting

The last session of the multi-year expert meeting is intended to summarize its work from the policy perspective, bringing to a close the cycle of work undertaken on the subject matter. The current investment policy regime has become more complex, diversified and interconnected with various other policy areas. As a consequence, investment policymakers are faced with new and complex challenges, both at the national and international level. Furthermore, the recent economic and financial crises have moved the issue of how to readjust the regulatory powers of the State in the economy to the centre of discussions. There has also been a general trend of rebalancing of investment policies.

The meeting aims to bring together a wide range of interested parties from the public and private sectors - including policymakers and international investment agreement practitioners, relevant international organizations, as well as academia - to share their insights and discuss relevant issues in regard to these developments.

Participation

Member States, specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting, as well as nongovernmental 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 at an early date and no later than 21 November 2011.

Representatives of the private sector, academia and relevant organizations dealing with issues related to the topic of the meeting will also be invited.

Financial assistance

Depending on the availability of funding in the Trust Fund for Financing the Participation of Experts at the time, funds may be made available to finance the participation of a limited number of officially nominated experts from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Governments requiring funding are therefore invited to clearly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on (a) the principle of equitable geographical representation; (b) the needs of beneficiaries, in particular least developed countries; and (c) the expertise of the experts concerned. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 8 November 2011 and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Mailing address
  • Telephone and fax number
  • E-mail address
  • Name of a contact person from the Permanent Mission in Geneva

Once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, all travel arrangements will be made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations - that is, the use of the least costly fare will be applied.

Logistics

The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations. Upon arrival and before entering the Palais des Nations, participants are requested to collect their badge at the United Nations Security Service at Pregny Gate. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete the procedures and reach the meeting in good time. Participants are requested to bring a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the requested entrance gate. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the Security Service gives special clearance.

Further information and contact details

Nominations and related 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 22 917 0214; e-mail: meetings@unctad.org.

Enquiries concerning substantive issues should be addressed to Mr. Joachim Karl, Chief, National Policies Section, Investment Policies Branch, Division on Investment and Enterprise, tel: 41 22 917 5010; e-mail: joachim.karl@unctad.org.

(signed)

Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
19 October 2011


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