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19 Oct 2023


CIDSE analysis of updated UN legally binding instrument highlights areas for improvement and calls on States to address these gaps in the upcoming negotiations

"Call for a strong Binding Treaty", 19 Oct 2023

CIDSE, the international family of Catholic social justice organisations, publishes today an analysis of the UN Updated Draft of the Legally Binding Instrument (LBI)that will form the basis for negotiations at the 9th session of the UN open-ended Intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (Geneva, 23-27 October 2023).

The analysis – available in English, French, and Spanish – includes specific recommendations to negotiators for textual revisions in Geneva, where CIDSE will be present with a delegation. The 9th session will be crucial in addressing the impacts of corporations, particularly transnational ones, on people and the planet, as vulnerable populations and the climate crisis cannot wait any longer.  

While the Updated Draft of the LBI contains some improvements and useful clarifications, the analysis...shows that the changes make the text less ambitious and that it retains provisions and approaches previously considered problematic from earlier drafts. Some of the most important omissions highlighted in the analysis are: 

  • Human rights, environment and climate change: the Updated Draft falls short of previous drafts in addressing the issues of environmental damage and climate change...
  • Access to justice and remedy:...the reversal of the burden of proof...is not made a necessary requirement... 
  • Due diligence:...The provisions of the Updated Draft are insufficient and must be strengthened to ensure meaningful and effective participation of all relevant stakeholders.  
  • Legal liability: ...The Updated Draft represents a step back, by allowing States Parties to modify domestic legal principles to qualify their compliance with liability requirements...

Part of the following timelines

UN Intergovernmental Working Group elaborating a legally binding instrument on business & human rights

UN Intergovernmental Working Group releases updated draft of legally binding instrument on business and human rights (2023)