UNCTAD’s new multistakeholder platform on International Investment Agreement (IIA) reform holds its first meeting

UNCTAD held the first of its newly established Multi-stakeholder Platform on IIA Reform on 4 March, 2024, with over 40 participants. The platform was launched at the 8th World Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, convening experts from governments, civil society, academia, and international and regional organizations. The purpose is to advance reform by identifying the main obstacles to change of outdated investment treaties. The participants discussed two questions: What specifically slows down IIA reform, and how can it be accelerated at the bilateral and regional levels? What additional, concrete actions could international organizations, civil society, and academia take to accelerate the process of IIA reform? The Platform is expected to engage in regular (virtual or in-person) meetings on key questions of IIA reform and actions to make it work on the ground; exchange experiences and best practices to feed into UNCTAD’s policy analysis, technical assistance, and capacity-building work; and participate in existing and ongoing activities of UNCTAD’s IIA Section such as conferences and the peer review of reports. IISD is part of the Platform and calls for the need to have a specific alternative model to treaties based on investment protection.