Negotiating a Treaty on Business and Human Rights: A Review of the First Intergovernmental Session
The first session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights took place in Geneva… The mandate of the OEIGWG is set in Human Rights Council Resolution 26/9…: ‘to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises’. The first two…sessions of the OEIGWG are meant to be broad constructive discussions about the scope and content of the prospective treaty. This first session…raised expectations…despite concerns of a likely boycott of the process by Western states….[T]he first session could be described as a qualified success. Although state participation was low and many discussions proved more political than legalistic, there was some meaningful progress. This article reviews the debate during this first meeting, describing the meeting itself, recounting the main substantive debates, and discussing the process and challenges going forward.