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11 Sep 2023

The Global Campaign

Key concerns with Intergovt. Working Group updated draft on Legally Binding Treaty, according to the Global Campaign

Opinio Juris

"Rights For The People, Rules For TNCS! – First Impressions On The Updated Draft Treaty On TNCs And Human Rights", 11 Sep 2023

"The Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign) is a worldwide network of over 250 social movements, civil society organisations, trade unions and communities affected by the activities of transnational corporations (TNCs). Having actively participated in the negotiations for a legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of TNCs in international human rights law, as mandated by Resolution 26/9, the Global Campaign would like to express profound concerns regarding the Updated Draft Treaty as published in July 2023 by the Chair of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG), the Ambassador of the Permanent mission of the Republic of Ecuador.

With this latest draft, the Chair sets us back at least three years in the negotiations, benefiting TNCs and their host countries to the detriment of social movements, workers, peasants, and affected communities.

...The process in the lead up to the updated draft has been marked with an unacceptable level of arbitrariness by the Chair. For instance, the weeks leading up to the 8th session of the OEIGWG were riddled with inconsistencies that give rise to important procedural and ethical concerns.

...[T]his new text reveals the Chair has significantly overreached his mandate.

...We would like to highlight here some concerning and pressing issues related to the updated draft:

1) Several important proposals from committed States were excluded or weakened, even when they had been widely supported by other States and civil society. At the same time, proposals made by only one or a few States were retained, despite the absence of significant support from other delegations.

2) Key provisions were weakened or inexplicably disappeared, even though no delegation had explicitly requested that this be done.

3) Key proposals for the elaboration of a strong and effective instrument coming from social movements and affected communities were deleted, while those of the representatives of TNCs were imposed.

...We call on the Chair to facilitate negotiations at the 9th session in accordance with the mandate of Resolution 26/9 of the United Nations Human Rights Council, and on the basis of the updated revised draft Treaty with the track changes (the only legitimate basis for negotiations), which includes all the proposals presented by the States in the last two sessions. We also urge the States committed to the process in favor of a Binding Treaty to be vigilant and to oppose any kind of diversion strategy.

Last but not least, we also call on the Chair to convene an inclusive international consultation with all State missions and ensuring the participation of civil society organizations prior to the 9th session, to discuss the program, agenda and methodology for the 9th session.

It is time for transparency, coherence, collaboration, and, above all, it is time for justice."