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28 Oct 2016

International Chamber of Commerce

Intl. Chamber of Commerce oral statement on The relation between the United Nations Guiding Principles and the elaboration of an international legally binding Instrument on TNCs and other business enterprises

...[A]ny instrument on business and human rights needs to have an effective theory for actually changing corporate conduct and preventing future abuses. We submit that theory should privilege a logic of prevention – as entrenched in the UN Guiding Principles. We would argue that in the short- and long-term, this will do far, far more to prevent, mitigate and remedy human rights impacts for far more people than a more narrow focus on legal accountability, an approach which, by definition, will be remain severely constrained by State resources, State commitments to enforce and political will. The deliberations should also carefully consider and anticipate the unintended economic consequences that might result from structuring the instrument in various ways, which can be explored in future deliberations. The Guiding Principles, as is clear from their preambular paragraphs as well as Principle 3 and its commentary, present no obstacles to effectively preventing, mitigating and remedying human rights impacts. We call upon States to increase their efforts in this regard and not undermine this important and useful framework through these discussions on a binding instrument.