Reflecting on a Year Online: Lessons from an IISD survey of international investment negotiators
How do you negotiate online? In early 2020, officials and governments found themselves facing this question, as the COVID-19 pandemic meant that in-person negotiations were paused indefinitely and global negotiations moved online.
After one year of experience with virtual negotiations, what do we know? How do negotiators gather information, build coalitions, and reach compromises during virtual negotiations? What are the opportunities offered and challenges posed by virtual negotiations for developing countries?
This webinar presented preliminary answers to these questions based on a forthcoming IISD publication co-authored by Zoe Williams and Taylor St John, entitled Reflecting on a Year Online: Lessons from a Survey of International Investment Negotiators.
The paper reports results from a survey of negotiators participating in two large virtual negotiations:
- The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group III on investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) reform.
- The Joint Statement Initiative on investment facilitation among a group of World Trade Organization (WTO) members.
The survey asked officials about barriers to participation in person and online; how they prepare for both types of negotiations; who attends in-person and virtual negotiations and whether this differs; how communication and the conduct of negotiations have changed with the shift online; overall views on the benefits and drawbacks of virtual negotiations; and what negotiating arrangements they would prefer moving forward.
Participants in this webinar had the opportunity to discuss the report’s suggestions for improving virtual negotiations and good practices for virtual negotiations, as well as sharing their experiences and views on the challenges and opportunities of virtual negotiations.
Speakers and discussants included:
- Geoff Pigman, global policy and strategy consultant, and Associate Researcher at the University of Lausanne's Global Sport and Olympic Studies Centre
- Taylor St John, Assistant Professor, University of St Andrews
- Cissé Aminata Traore, Permanent Secretary of the Superior Council of the Private Sector, Mali
- Quynh Vu, Deputy Director-General, Department of Legislation, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam.
- Zoe Williams, Associate, Managing Editor of Investment Treaty News, IISD
Watch the webinar's full recording
Check out the webinar's slides
You might also be interested in
The Multilateral Framework on Investment Facilitation: What investment treaty negotiators need to know
This webinar was held on Thursday , August 20, 2020, at 3 p.m. (CEST) and involved a discussion of the multilateral framework on investment facilitation (MFIF) and its linkages to the international investment treaty regime.
Trade and Sustainability Hub 2024
Alongside the Thirteenth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) we will be running our Trade + Sustainability Hub, bringing together thought leaders from both within and outside governments for a series of conversations on the challenges of building cooperative trade policy that delivers for sustainable development.
2024 Investment Policy Forum
The 16th edition of the International Institute for Sustainable Development's (IISD) Investment Policy Forum will be held in Manila, the Philippines, in October 2024.
Rethinking Incentives for Sustainable Investment in Lao PDR
A high-level capacity-building workshop on the design and use of tax incentives as an investment promotion tool in Lao PDR.