High-Level IIA Conference 2018

More than 300 experts, including high-level IIA negotiators, representatives from intergovernmental organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector convened in Geneva, Palais des Nations on the 24th of October 2018 for UNCTAD's High-Level IIA Conference 2018.


The conference comprised of a high-level plenary session from 15:00 to 19:30. Several IIA-related break-out sessions were also organized under the sole responsibility of the external organizers.


The 2018 High-level IIA Conference:

  • launched the updated version of UNCTAD’s Reform Package for the International Investment Regime;
  • generated a uniquely comprehensive overview of the state of play and next steps for IIA reform, which will feed into UNCTAD's research and policy analysis (e.g. the 2019 World Investment Report);
  • offered practical steps for taking sustainable development-oriented IIA reform to the next level;
  • confirmed UNCTAD's central role in supporting and facilitating multilateral engagement on international investment policy making for sustainable development.

Way forward

In the pursuit of sustainable investment, UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise remains committed to provide the necessary backstopping to ensure that the international investment regime works for sustainable development.

We look forward to jointly continuing this endeavor at the 2019 High-level IIAs conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

IIA-related Break-out Sessions

Opening statement

    Mr. James Zhan, Director of the Investment and Enterprise Division, UNCTAD


    Hon. Mr. Jayantha Chandrasiri Jayasuriya, Attorney General, Sri Lanka

    Ms. Maria Martin-Prat, Director, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission

    Ms. Vilawan Mangaklatanakul, Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand

    Mr. Ronald Roosdorp, Director for International Economic Governance and Trade Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands

Kick-off speakers

    Ms. Samira Sulejmanovic, Head, Unit for Bilateral Trade Relations, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Mr. Vernon MacKay, Director, Investment Trade Policy Division, Trade Policy Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada

    Mr. Jiang Chenghua, Deputy Director General, Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Commerce, China

    Ms. Angela Dau-Pretorius, Deputy Director, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Namibia

    Ms. Meg Kinnear, Secretary-General, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

    Ms. Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

    Mr. Shaun Donnelly, Vice President, Investment and Financial Services, United States Council for International Business (USCIB)

    Ms. Nathalie Bernasconi, Executive Director, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Europe


    Argentina, H.E. Mr. Carlos Mario Foradori, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva

    Australia, Mr. Simon Farbenbloom, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Australia to the WTO

    Brazil, Mr. Abrão Miguel Árabe Neto, Secretary, Foreign Trade, Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Service

    Burkina Faso, Mr. Mahamady Koussoube, Director, Investment Facilitation, Investment Promotion Agency

    Dominican Republic, Mr. Marcelo Salazar, Director, Prevention, Dispute Resolution and Investment, Foreign Trade Directorate, Ministry of Industry and Commerce

    European Commission, Ms. Maria Martin-Prat, Director, Directorate General for Trade

    France, Mr. Frédéric Paruta, Counselor, Permanent Representation of France to UN at Geneva

    Germany, Mr. Jens Benninghofen, Advisor, Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy

    Indonesia, Mr. Sulaiman, Deputy Director General for Legal Affairs and International Treaties, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Israel, Mr. Boaz Fleischman-Alaluf, Director, Investment and Trade Agreements Division, Ministry of Finance

    Kenya, Ms. Betty Maina, Principal Secretary, State Department of Investment and Industry, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives

    Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mr. Vilaysack Phonesay, Deputy Director, Investment Promotion Department, Ministry of Planning and Investment

    Madagascar, Ms. Lantonirina Erika Ramananarivo, Director, Public Private Partnership Department, Ministry of Finance and Budget

    Malaysia, Mr. Syed Mohd Faizal Syed Mohd Dardin, Director Investment Policy and Trade Facilitation, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

    Mauritania, Mr. Amadou Moctar Kane, Director of the Promotion of Private Investment, Directorate General of Private Sector Promotion, Ministry of Economy and Finance

    Mexico, Mr. Fernando Mayer De Leeuw, Director of International Trade of Services and Investment, Ministry of Economy

    Mongolia, Ms. Doljinsuren Jambal, Director of Development Policy and Planning Division, National Development Agency

    Montenegro, Ms. Jovana Krunic, Head, Department for International Economic Relations, Ministry of Economy

    Netherlands, Mr. Ronald Roosdorp, Director for International Economic Governance and Trade Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Nigeria, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission

    Peru, Mr. Ricardo De Urioste Samanamud, Head Legal Advisor, Special Commission for the Defence of Peru in International Investment Arbitration, Ministry of Economy and Finance

    Russian Federation, Ms. Marya Baranova, Deputy Director, Department for Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Economic Development

    Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ayedh H. Alotaibi, Deputy Governor, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA)

    Serbia, Ms. Jasmina Roskic, Head International Agreements and Foreign Trade Department, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications

    Slovakia, Ms. Miriama Kiselyová, Financial Unit, Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU

    South Africa, Ms. Kekeletso Mashigo, Director: Legal, International Trade and Investment, Trade Negotiations Unit, International Trade and Economic Development Division, Department of Trade and Industry

    Spain, Mr. Pablo Martinez Segrelles, Deputy Director, Directorate for International Investments

    Sri Lanka, Ms. Champika Malalgoda, Executive Director (Research & Policy Advocacy), Board of Investment

    Switzerland, Mr. Lukas Siegenthaler, Head of Division, International Investment and Multinational Enterprises, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

    Thailand, Ms. Vilawan Mangaklatanakul, Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    United Arab Emirates, Mr. Ahmad Mousa Aljaghbeer, Legal Advisor, Secretary General Office, Supreme Legislation Committee in the Emirate of Dubai

    Viet Nam, Ms. Vu Thi Chau Quynh, Deputy Director General, Department of Legislation, The Ministry of Planning and Investment

    Zambia, Ms. Kayula Siame, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry

International organizations

    COMESA, Mr. Thierry Kalonji, Director, Investment and Promotion and Private Sector Development, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

    ECS, Mr. Urban Rusnák, Secretary-General, Energy Charter Secretariat (ECS)

    ICDT, Mr. El Hassane Hzaine, Director-General, Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT)

    OECD, Mr. David Gaukrodger, Senior Legal Adviser, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

    OHCHR, Mr. Surya Deva, Vice Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

    SAARC, Mr. Chanchal Chand Sarkar, Director, Economic, Trade and Finance Division, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Secretariat (SAARC)

    SESRIC, H.E. Amb. Mr. Musa Kulaklikaya, Director-General, Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC)

    South Centre, Mr. Vicente Paolo Yu, Coordinator, Global Governance for Development Programme

    UNCITRAL, Ms. Caroline Nicolas, Senior Legal Officer, International Trade Law Division, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

    UNECA, Mr. Stephen Karingi, Director, Capacity Development Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Business and civil society

    BDI, Mr. Christoph Sprich, Senior Manager, Federation of German Industries (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie, BDI)

    CUTS International, Mr. Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary-General, Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International)

    ESCAP, Mr. Marc Proksch, Chief, Investment and Enterprise Development Section, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

    ESF, Mr. Pascal Kerneis, Managing Director, European Service Forum (ESF)

    FICCI, Mr. Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, Federation of India Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)

    ITD, Mr. Kamalinne Pinitpuvadol, Executive Director, International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD)

* The statements are available in the language in which they were received.

** Audio Recording of the session until 18:16 (when the interpretation ceased) can be found here.