More than a year after the UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 26/9, the Inter-governmental Working Group (IGWG) negotiations on developing a UN legally binding instrument (UN Treaty) on business and human rights began Monday, 6 July, at Geneva’s Palais des Nations.
Before the start of discussions ECCJ launched a statement in support of the Treaty, asking for coherent action at regional, national and international level.
The working group negotiations represent the beginning of a lengthy process, spanning over several years, involving UN member countries, experts in the field and civil society organisations.
While the EU adopted an empty chair approach midway through Day 2 of the Treaty negotiations, it eagerly engaged in another round of TTIP negotiations in Brussels, the following week. This led us to question who the EU was really standing up for, its citizens or corporate profit. ECCJ’s thoughts on the matter were synthesised in an opinion article written together with Friends of the Earth and FIDH, published by EU Reporter and Le Soir (print and online).
In September, ECCJ participated in a European Parliament Event on the UN Treaty organised by the S&D Group. ECCJ Coordinator Jerome Chaplier was one of the agenda’s speakers, his intervention focusing on why we are witnessing such a strong global call for a UN Treaty and why it is important for victims of corporate abuse. His address ended with a call for action to EU Member States, Members of the European Parliament and representatives of other European Institutions to demonstrate support for an open and democratic Treaty process that includes and consults with civil society organisations and victims of irresponsible business behaviour.