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Foreign Direct Investment For Development: The United Nations Code Of Conduct And The Search For Balance In International Investment Rules

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the considerations that shaped the negotiations of a United Nations Code of Conduct on Transnational Corporations and at the search for balance in international investment rules that has since then continued to inform efforts to establish an international framework for foreign direct investment (FDI) and multinational enterprises (MNEs). The United Nations Code negotiations established the two dominant themes-and tensions-that have since then characterized efforts to establish an international framework for FDI and the activities of MNEs, namely (1) the struggle to find the proper balance between the rights and responsibilities of host countries on one hand and those of MNEs on the other; and (2) the struggle over the legal nature of these rights and responsibilities. The developing countries focused in the Code negotiations on two things: (1) defining the responsibilities of MNEs; and (2) preserving their own rights as regards the treatment of these enterprises.

Keywords: foreign direct investment (FDI); international investment rules; multinational enterprises (MNEs); United Nations Code negotiations; United Nations Code of Conduct



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