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Briefing Paper on the Zero Draft: Unpacking Arguments Against the Treaty

Author: Treaty Alliance Germany, Published on: 15 May 2019

On 26 June 2014 the UN Human Rights Commission approved a resolution to form a working group (Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, OEIGWG) to elaborate a legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other companies with regard to compliance with human rights standards (‘Treaty Process’)...

The working group has met four times since then. In July 2018 the Ecuadorian chair submitted a first draft treaty (Zero Draft) which was debated at the fourth meeting of the UN working group in October 2018. The states were invited to comment on this draft until end-February 2019.

The present briefing paper discusses objections raised in political debates to the overall process or to contents of the Zero Draft and formulates proposed solutions.

1. Argument on the significance of an international regulation generally

2. Argument on scope of application (with reference to Art. 3.1 in combination with Art. 4.2 Zero Draft)

3. Argument for taking into account the UN Guiding Principles (relating to Art 9. Zero Draft)

4. Argument on legal liability (relating to Art. 10 Zero Draft)

5. Argument on the relationship between human rights and trade and investment agreements (relating to Art.13 Zero Draft)


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