Business & UN

ICC and UNCTAD to strengthen collaboration

  • 14 March 2007

During a meeting at the UNCTAD Commission on Investment, Technology and Related Financial Issues, ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban signaled the need for closer cooperation at all levels between the two organizations, especially to promote investment.

The UNCTAD address follows a meeting Mr Sebban held earlier this month with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, where ICC and the UN identified a number of priorities for more collaboration.

As part of their joint efforts to promote trade and investment, UNCTAD and ICC have produced investment guides for certain least-developed countries. Last year, two new editions were added to the collection, on Mali and Rwanda.

The Investment Advisory Council is part of another long-standing collaboration between ICC and UNCTAD that has provided an invaluable framework for high-level consultations between business and governments on investment matters, and in particular on how business and governments can work together to improve the capacity of least-developed countries to attract foreign direct investment. The IAC has met six times since its inaugural meeting at the Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey, Mexico in 2002. The most recent meeting took place in New York in September 2006, in parallel with the UN General Assembly.

Mr Sebban directed the attention of the UNCTAD Commission to the publication last year by ICC of a policy statement on the rising trend towards “investment protectionism,” an issue requiring greater attention to help prevent government actions from impeding foreign investment.

“Our immediate goal is to work with governments to reverse the trend toward investment protectionism, before it spreads to other parts of the world and starts to affect global investment flows in a big way,” Mr Sebban said.

“The promotion of international trade and investment is an integral component of the UN’s broader mission to secure peace and stability. Our motto remains, ‘world peace through world trade,’” Mr Sebban told UNCTAD.