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24 Jul 2015

Carlos Lopez, International Commission of Jurists

Participation & debate on proposed treaty on business & human rights needs to improve to “reach the finishing line”, says Intl. Commission of Jurists

"International talks on a treaty on business & human rights: A good start to a bumpy road", 23 Jul 2015

…[T]wo weeks after the first session of the intergovernmental working group (IGWG)…[i]t is a good time to draw a first balance of the session and look at the prospects…[T]he discussion was intellectually exciting, participants (States, business and civil society groups alike) were engaging and generally well prepared and the session was ably chaired…[S]everal speakers…rightly emphasised that there is no conceptual or legal obstacle for an international treaty concluded by States to create obligations for business enterprises…[On] whether the treaty should focus only on TNCs or should also cover "other business enterprises"…there is a growing mood for compromise. Some NGOs spoke of "a focus" on TNCs but without excluding other business enterprises, and [some] States…showed their openness to an intermediary option…If this future treaty on TNCs and other business enterprises is going to be a tool for increased accountability for TNCs and redress for victims, it should focus on the conduct that causes harm, define the conduct in a distinct and clear manner and attach legal liability to the perpetrators…