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2 Nov 2017


UN treaty process on business and human rights moving into a new phase

The third session of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group...concluded last Friday, 27 October.

...The provisional report of the session was adopted by consensus on Friday...Significantly though, the report does not conclude that there will be a fourth session in 2018...

.. On the positive side: the treaty process was kept afloat...The European Union, which seemed ready to get off on the first day, citing procedural concerns, decided to remain.

On the downside: the call for informal consultations on the continuation of the process in the conclusions of the provisional report is not sufficient, and seriously risks delaying the process. A successful fourth session in 2018 would ideally be preceded by a zero draft text... and a programme of work for 2018 which includes clear milestones and consultations in the run up to the session.

...The next months are crucial for the success of the process and there are several steps to be taken...[T]he adoption of the session report must be affirmed...[A]ll states need to...develop a position on the Draft Elements...[T]he design of the roadmap to the fourth Session needs to be agreed upon.

...Civil society stands ready to actively contribute to the process and is united in moving forward to a fourth IGWG session in 2018.