Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity Statement

22 December 2017 - 12:15pm
Press release

Attempt at Sabotage in New York: the European Union aims to Eliminate the Financing of the United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group Entrusted with Drafting a Legally Binding Treaty on TNCs and Human Rights

Tuesday 19th December 2017

According to our sources, the European Union (EU) delegation to the United Nations General Assembly’s Fifth Committee, which deals with budgetary matters, is trying to eliminate the financing of the Human Rights Council’s intergovernmental working group (IGWG) mandated to draft a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs) and human rights.

It is worth recalling that the intergovernmental working group, set up under Human Rights Council Resolution 26/9 adopted in June 2014, is tasked with creating a mechanism at the international level to allow victims and affected communities access to justice in the face of human rights violations involving TNCs.

The European Union, representing the interests of Big Money and TNCs at the UN and within this working group, has been trying for three years to derail this United Nations process by any and all means, even violating codes of diplomatic protocol. These efforts have so far been unsuccessful: as per its mandate, the working group started negotiations for the UN treaty last October, and is set to have a draft treaty for negotiation in its 4th session in 2018.

This recent attempt of the European Union in the context of the Fifth Committee is in line with its long-term strategy, which seeks to prevent any discussion focused on regulating TNCs, even when TNC behaviour is criminal. By using this strategy, the European Union is demonstrating once again that it prioritizes business over human rights.

The Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity condemns this new attempt by the European Union to derail the treaty process, this time by depriving the working group of its financial resources.

Under these circumstances, we call on:

1. Civil Society and social movements from Europe and other regions to denounce and mobilize against this attempt in their own countries.

2. The European Union to renounce this attempt to sabotage the process of elaborating a United Nations legally binding treaty on TNCs and human rights, and to join it constructively;

3. The United Nations member states to firmly reject this attempt to eliminate the intergovernmental working group’s financing. On the contrary, the Fifth Committee should consider an increase to the working group’s budget in view of the importance and magnitude of the task to be accomplished.

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