Commentary urges AIIB to uphold repect for human rights & improve transparency

Author: Joshua Rosenzweig, Amnesty International, in The Diplomat (Japan), Published on: 27 June 2016

"The AIIB and Human Rights", 24 Jun 2016

On June 25, the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)…meet in Beijing for the first annual meeting of the world’s newest multilateral development bank…[D]espite…promising signs, history shows that development banks’ efforts to pursue growth do not always go hand-in-hand with respecting human rights. In order to ensure that AIIB-financed projects advance the goals of inclusive and sustainable development that respects human rights, its project-selection and decision-making must be conducted with a high degree of transparency…

…Transparency is an essential principle for any public institution to uphold and is especially important in the area of international development financing. Access to information makes it possible to evaluate how IFIs identify and address human rights risks associated with the projects that they finance. Subjecting decision-making processes and project operations to public scrutiny can further strengthen oversight and accountability by exposing potential wrongdoing and corruption.

AIIB has taken note of the connection between transparency and accountability in its “Public Information Interim Policy” (PIIP)…It is much less clear how the PIIP will facilitate the human rights due diligence that AIIB and its clients will be required to carry out, however, and the policy does little to enable stakeholder integration into the bank’s decision-making process…

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