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18 Apr 2018

Harris Gleckman, Global Policy Forum and Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung

Briefing paper on procedure and format options for a UN binding treaty on business & human rights

In 2014, following a resolution initiated by Ecuador and South Africa, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN HRC) decided by a majority vote to establish a process to create a human rights treaty to regulate business activity. Since 2015, the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises (OBEs) with respect to human rights (OEIGWG) has convened three times, and substantial discussion about the scope and content of the prospective treaty has taken place...Consequently, this paper has three parts. The first and second parts look at the choice of contents and format of the agreement. The third part provides options for the institutional settings needed with regard to a bureau, the HRC Secretariat, the relationship to other UN entities and processes, and the financial questions to be solved. It also elaborates on the options for the drafting process itself with regard to the drafting of the text, the structure, and the timetable of negotiations. The third part further assesses the options for participation of civil society organizations and business.