The IIA Issues Note, entitled Towards a New Generation of International Investment Policies: UNCTAD's Fresh Approach to Multilateral Investment Policymaking, was originally prepared for a 2013 investment seminar organized by Finland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The seminar was part of the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy.
The issues note discusses a recent paradigm shift in investment policymaking that has come about as a result of changing economic realities and multiple crises, and has resulted in inclusive growth and sustainable development becoming increasingly prominent objectives for IIA stakeholders.
The note addresses the multiple issues facing international investment policymaking, and identifies four main challenges:
How to strengthen the sustainability dimension of international investment agreements;
How to preserve appropriate regulatory space for host countries;
How to deal with the complexity of a fragmented treaty regime characterized by overlaps and incoherence; and
How to address serious deficiencies in investor-State dispute settlement.
UNCTAD's recently launched Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development offers a two-pronged approach for addressing these challenges:
It provides expert guidance for the future formulation of investment policies through its eleven core principles, guidelines on national policymaking, and options for IIA clauses.
This guidance is complemented by the opportunity to engage in a universal, inclusive and transparent policy dialogue bringing together a diverse set of actors that includes representatives of civil society, business and academia, and policymakers from countries at all levels of development.
This approach benefits from UNCTAD's worldwide recognition as the focal point in the United Nations system for issues related to investment and sustainable development.