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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.