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A shared view is emerging on the need for reform of the International Investment Agreement (IIA) regime to ensure that it is in line with today’s sustainable development imperative and that it works for all stakeholders. Over the past years, UNCTAD’s Work Programme on IIAs devoted an extensive part of its activities to finding solutions to the challenges the IIA regime is currently facing. The article outlines the reform issues discussed at two recent intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder meetings organized by UNCTAD, the World Investment Forum’s IIA Conference in 2014 and the UNCTAD Expert Meeting on the Transformation of the IIA Regime in 2015. It describes recent trends in the IIA regime with a special focus on investment policy developments related to the reform of the IIA regime. These developments are exemplified by new model agreements, treaty terminations, the up-scaling of treaty making through Mega-Regionals and the conclusion of “new generation” investment treaties. All of this indicates that governments have entered into a new phase of investment policymaking. Against this background, the article presents UNCTAD’s action menu for reforming the international investment regime as put forward in the World Investment Report 2015. The action menu identifies policy challenges, analyses policy options for key areas of IIA reform and offers guidelines and suggestions for action at different levels of policymaking.
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- The Road Towards Reform of the International Investment Agreement Regime: A Perspective from UNCTAD