unctad.org | Multi-year expert meeting on investment for development
Multi-year expert meeting on investment for development
10 - 11 February 2009

Key Issues

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The fifty-fifth session of the Trade and Development Board in September 2008 agreed that the Commission on Investment, Enterprise and Development should convoke a multi-year expert meeting on "Investment for Development", the first session of which should deal with "The development dimension of international investment agreements".

In accordance with the Board decision, the expert meeting will:

  • Review trends and salient features of international investment agreements (IIAs) that have been implemented, including management of investor-State dispute settlement.

  • Analyse key emerging issues.

  • Analyse benefits and challenges identified in IIAs.

  • Assess the impact of IIAs on development.

The purpose of this meeting is to bring together experts and practitioners from government, civil society, academia and the private sector to address the development implications of the proliferation of investment agreements, and identify and clarify the key issues to be further analysed in order to enhance the capacity of developing countries to harness the development potential of IIAs.

The expert meeting is expected - as part of the multi-year expert meeting on "Investment for Development" - to contribute to the achievement of a "practical/actionable" outcome (as identified in paragraph 207 of the Accra Accord), including through the last of the four sessions of this multi-year expert meeting that is designed to "pull together the findings of the three previous meetings".

Inputs from experts

Experts nominated by member States are encouraged to submit brief papers (approximately five pages) to:

Mr. Joerg Weber
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10

F.: +41 (0)22 917 0194
E.: joerg.weber@unctad.org

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



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The first session of the multi-year expert meeting on "Investment for Development", which will consider "The development dimension of international investment agreements", will be held from 10 to 11 February 2009, in room XXVI of the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will be opened at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 10 February 2009.


Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date and not later than 3 February 2009. Experts, who will participate in the meeting in a personal capacity, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject, and may be selected from governmental and non-governmental organizations, private entities or academia.

The meeting may be of particular interest to government officials dealing with issues related to IIAs, especially negotiators, lawyers involved in investor-State dispute settlement, and other practitioners dealing with the negotiation and implementation of IIAs. In addition, experts from international and regional organizations will be invited as resource persons.

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 3 February 2009.

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 explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on the principle of equitable geographical representation; needs of beneficiaries, in particular LDCs; and 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 10 January 2009 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 in the Permanent Mission in Geneva

It should be noted in this connection that 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, although use of the least costly fare will be authorized.

Background documents and contributed papers

The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, will be circulated as document TD/B/C.II/MEM.3/1. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared an issues note, which will be circulated as TD/B/C.II/MEM.3/2.

Experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers (approximately five pages) related to one or more of the issues contained in the provisional agenda to the meeting, as well as those relating to their country´s experience in negotiating and implementing IIAs. These papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.


The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations.

Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badges at the United Nations Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 Avenue de la Paix. 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 entry procedures in good time and proceed to the meeting in the E-Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais. Participants are requested to carry 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 entrance gates. 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(0) 22 917 0214; e-mail: meetings@unctad.org.

All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinators in the substantive division, tel.: +41 (0)22 917 5756 or +41 (0)22 917 2135; fax: +41 (0)22 917 0194; e-mail: marie-estelle.rey@unctad.org or hamed.el-kady@unctad.org.


Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
22 December 2008


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