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Article

Commentary: Impact of NGOs in negotiations on drafting proposed business & human rights treaty

"The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Business and Human Rights Treaty Negotiations", 26 Jun 2017

In June 2014, the UN Human Rights Council established an intergovernmental working group to elaborate a treaty on business and human rights. In July 2015, the working group held its first session launching the negotiations process…[NGOs] now have the opportunity to engage with the negotiations process, both formally and informally, through consultations, advocacy, and lobbying. This article considers the impact NGOs may have in the drafting negotiations of the proposed treaty. It identifies several lobbying and advocacy strategies that were successful in previous international law-making processes and discusses the extent to which they could be applied to the current negotiations…It analyses the reasons for Western states’ opposition and suggests lobbying strategies that may overcome it….[I]t also focuses on lobbying corporate actors, and explores the complementarity between the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the treaty and the need for NGOs to support both. The article concludes on the necessity to compromise on essential points if a treaty is ever to emerge.