UNCTAD's Work Programme on International Investment Agreements (IIAs) actively assists policymakers, government officials and other IIA stakeholders to reform IIAs with a view to making them more conducive to sustainable development and inclusive growth.
Reform the international investment agreements (IIAs) regime to enhance its sustainable development dimension,
Provide comprehensive analysis on key issues arising from the complexity of the international investment regime,
Develop a wide range of tools to support the formulation of more balanced international investment policies.
The three pillars of activities:
Research and policy analysis - monitoring trends, identifying key emerging issues and providing cutting-edge knowledge on IIAs from a sustainable development perspective,
Technical assistance - delivering trainings, seminars and workshops; conducting IIA and model BIT reviews; offering ad-hoc advice to strengthen the capacity of beneficiaries in handling the complexities of the IIA regime,
Intergovernmental consensus-building - exchanging and sharing best practices and experience with the view to fostering global investment governance.
The database of international investment agreements (IIAs) - the IIA Navigator - is maintained by UNCTAD’s IIA Section. You can browse through IIAs concluded by a particular country or country grouping, view recently concluded IIAs, or use an Advanced Treaty Search for sophisticated searches tailored to your needs.
1) The IIA Navigator is continuously adjusted as a result of verification with, and comments from, UN Member States. It is primarily built on information provided by governments on a voluntary basis. A treaty is included in a country's IIA count once it is formally concluded; treaties whose negotiations have been concluded, but which have not been signed, are not counted. A treaty is excluded from the IIA count once its termination becomes effective, regardless of whether it continues to have legal effect for certain investments during its “survival” (“sunset”) period. In cases of treaty replacements, only one of the treaties between the same parties is counted. Depending on the situation, the counted treaty can be the “old” one, if this one remains in force pending the ratification of the newly concluded IIA.
While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of its content, UNCTAD assumes no responsibility for eventual errors or omissions in these data. The information and texts included in the database serve a purely informative purpose and have no official or legal status. In the event of doubt regarding the content of the database, it is suggested that you contact the relevant government department of the State(s) concerned. Users are kindly asked to report agreements, errors or omissions by using the online contact form.
2) The IIA Mapping Project is a collaborative initiative between UNCTAD and universities worldwide to map the content of IIAs. Individual treaties are mapped by law students from participating universities, under the supervision of their professors and with the overall guidance and coordination of UNCTAD.
The mapping results included in the IIA Mapping Project database serve a purely informative purpose. The mapping of treaty provisions is not exhaustive, has no official or legal status, does not affect the rights and obligations of the contracting parties and is not intended to provide any authoritative or official legal interpretation.
While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, UNCTAD assumes no responsibility for eventual errors or omissions in the mapping data. In the event of doubt regarding the correctness of mapping results, users are kindly asked to contact us via the the online contact form.
3) The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.
International investment agreements (IIAs) are divided into two types:
(1) bilateral investment treaties and (2) treaties with investment provisions.
A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is an agreement between two countries regarding promotion and protection of investments made by investors from respective countries in each other’s territory. The great majority of IIAs are BITs.
The category of treaties with investment provisions (TIPs) brings together various types of investment treaties that are not BITs. Three main types of TIPs can be distinguished:
broad economic treaties that include obligations commonly found in BITs (e.g. a free trade agreement with an investment chapter);
treaties with limited investment-related provisions (e.g. only those concerning establishment of investments or free transfer of investment-related funds); and
treaties that only contain “framework” clauses such as the ones on cooperation in the area of investment and/or for a mandate for future negotiations on investment issues.
In addition to IIAs, there also exists an open-ended category of investment-related instruments (IRIs). It encompasses various binding and not-binding instruments and includes, for example, model agreements and draft instruments, multilateral conventions on dispute settlement and arbitration rules, documents adopted by international organisations, and others.
Global search. To do a global search, leave both boxes empty, or drag "World" in Party Input box 1.
“Details” boxes. The “Details” boxes list countries constituting the selected grouping, category or region. Unwanted countries can be removed from the list.
Country groupings – two options. By default, a Country grouping (e.g. ASEAN or the EU) is viewed as a single entity, and the system will search for treaties concluded by the relevant grouping or all of its members. Secondly, a Country grouping can also be viewed as a list of individual countries that are members of this grouping, and the system will search for agreements concluded by these individual countries. To switch between these two options, click on the icon to the left of the grouping’s name.
“Intra” and “Extra”. If you place a certain Country category, Region or Country grouping (as a list of individual countries) in Party Input box 1 (without placing anything in Party Input box 2), you can check "Intra" to search for treaties within the group (by members of the group between each other), or "Extra" to search for treaties by group members with non-members (if you don't select "Intra" or "Extra", the system will search for both).