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15 Oct 2019

ECCJ (Belgium)

UN Treaty on Business & Human Rights negotiations Day 1 - The round of discussions kicks off with an improved draft

The fifth session of the Open-ended Inter-governmental Working Group (OEIGWG) for the elaboration of an International Legally binding Instrument on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with respect to human rights began on Monday 14 October 2019, at the UN in Geneva. 

  • The first day of negotiations began with the election of the Ecuadorian Chairperson Rapporteur, Emilio Izquierdo, without objections. 
  • Positive feedback has been presented…in particular with regards to the expanded scope; the current drafts' coherence with other areas of law; and the complementarity of the current draft and the UNGPs.
  • ...The EU delegate Guus Houttuin announced that it would not be participating in the negotiations, as the EU had not yet received a mandate from the incoming European Commission. In order to achieve such a mandate, the Commission would need to actively seek agreement from its Member States. Moreover, the EU is still in the process of analysing the current draft text, and would therefore only be asking questions of clarification.
  • Colombia and Switzerland were the only states present to question the added value of a Treaty in addition to the UNGPs.
  • Many states as well as the EU throughout the day expressed their satisfaction that the revised draft has become further aligned with … the concept of human rights due diligence (HRDD).