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27 Aug 2020

Global Campaign to Reclaim People's Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity

Global Campaign Statement on the Second Revised Draft of the Binding Treaty

"Global Campaign Statement on the Second Revised Draft", 27 August 2020.

...It is necessary to recall that the purpose of developing international instruments for the protection of human rights is to address violations that have been perpetuated and remain unanswered, and is the result of the historical struggles of social movements and affected communities, as well as of legal advances made over decades, with the ultimate goal of broadening the spectrum of guarantees to human dignity.

To be in line with the logic and rationale of Resolution 26/9, the Binding Treaty must be a legal instrument that takes a step forward from those that already exist at international level. For example, it must innovate beyond the UN Guiding Principles which, although they have played a role in the process to date, are insufficient to close the accountability gap of TNCs and guarantee accessto justice for those affected by their operation....we would like to express our concern about problematic aspects of the draft that we fear will prevent the future instrument from achieving its goal of regulating the activities of TNCs. In general, despite some positive developments, the draft still follows the line of the previous one in being weak inthose fundamental aspects needed to achieve its real objective...

Firstly, the extension of the scope to all enterprises, without distinction, is maintained and exacerbated, contrary to the historical purpose of the instrument and to Resolution 26/9 which clearly refers to enterprises "with transnational activity". Furthermore, it is necessary to highlight that many of the proposals made by social movements, representatives of affected communities and even states during the fifth session were not included. Among others, we highlight: the absence of recognition of obligations for TNCs to respect human rights ; the failure to refer toglobal value chains, pillars of the international corporate architecture; the lack of effective international legal mechanisms to implement the Treaty and to sanction in case of non-compliance, such as the proposal for an international court ; and the lack of unequivocal recognition of the primacy of international human rights law over any other legal instruments, in particular overtrade and investment agreements...

In addition, the draft treaty again fails to impose joint and several liability on all companies involved in a violation along the global value chain and in general weakens the previous text regarding the liability of parent and/or controlling companies...

We would like to raise a last important element. A negotiation such as this one...must take into account the circumstances generated by the Covid-19 pandemic...we consider that the adequate conditions are not given for the sixth session of the Working Group to proceed as a negotiating session, and that instead alternatives should be explored, as for exampleto have consultations on the new draft, which must meet clear conditions to ensure the inclusiveness and participation of civil society...