CIDSE Press Release, 27 October 2023: “The EU continues to sit on the sidelines while the rest of the world engages in the process of achieving a strong UN Binding Treaty against corporate impunity”
As part of its commitment to advocate for human rights above corporate interests, CIDSE is closely following the negotiations for a legally binding intrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises. The open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG), enters this year its 9th session in Geneva from 23 to 27 October 2023. A CIDSE delegation with partner organisations will be present to lobby official delegations and join allies’ initiatives .
Status of the Treaty process
The Permanent Mission of Ecuador, on behalf of the Chairmanship of the OEIGWG, released in August 2021 the Third Revised Draft of a legally binding instrument (LBI) to regulate the activities of transnational cooperation and other business enterprises. In the Report adopted at the end of the 7th session, the Chair committed to advance the process together with a group of Friends of the Chair composed of Azerbaijan (Eastern Europe), France and Portugal (Western Europe and others), Indonesia (Asia-Pacific), Cameroon (Africa) and Uruguay (Latin America and Caribbean). Unlike in previous years, the Chair-Rapporteur did not prepare a new draft, but suggested some proposals on selected articles of the LBI. The proposals submitted by States and the Chair’s proposals served as a basis of negotiations in 2022 during the 8th Session.
Between April and June 2023, a number of intersessional consultations facilitated by the Friends of the Chair and supported by the OHCHR were held among States. Based on these consultations and proposals the Chair prepared and published an Updated Draft of the Legally Binding Instrument which will be the subject of the 9th session of the OEIGWG.
CIDSE and its members believe that the Updated Draft contains some welcome clarifications. However, other changes make the text less ambitious and can have consequences in the areas of human rights protection and access to remedy for rights-holders facing the impact of corporate power. Our network will make the case for a Treaty that advances provisions for improvement in human rights, environment and climate change; access to Justice; due diligence; legal liability, and trade and investment policies. We will call on Member States to address these gaps in the upcoming negotiations.
– A legal analysis of the Updated Draft by Dr. Prof Markus Krajewski, Stephanie Regalia and Otgontuya Davaanyam, published by CIDSE (October 2023) (EN – ES – FR)
– CIDSE’s contribution to the Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (EN – ES – FR)
The role of the EU
Together with our members and allies, CIDSE has been making the case for active involvement in the negotiations by the EU and its Member States. In the past years, the EU has played the role of a by-stander, lacking an official mandate to negotiate. With the European negotiations on an EU Corporate Sustainable Due Diligence Directive (EU CSDDD) proposal expected to be concluded by the end of this year, it is hoped that the future Directive is going to provide a new context for the EU’s engagement in the treaty negotiations as a block.
This year our delegation consists of secretariat staff with the following member organisations: Broederlijk Delen, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Fastenaktion, KOO/DKA, Misereor and Trócaire and partners from Brazil, Colombia, Madagascar, Togo, South Africa and Zambia. CIDSE will participate as a member of the Treaty Alliance, a global coalition of civil society, social movements and NGOs working for a Treaty on transnational corporations.
Activities by CIDSE, its members, allies and partners
Monday 23 October, 13:00-14:00 CEST, Room XXV, Palais des Nations: Side event “The European Union and the UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights”.
Thursday 24 October, 13:00-14:00 CEST, Room XXV, Palais des Nations: Side event “Feminists for a Binding Treaty” – Five reasons the Binding Treaty needs to be feminist (FR)
- “Protecting Children’s rights through an international treaty”, side event co-organised by DKA Austria, 17 October 2023, comments on the Updated Draft related to cases presented . Advocacy brief (EN –ES –PT).
- “Misereor fordert mehr Engagement der EU und veröffentlicht neues Rechtsgutachten“, Press release, 19 October 2023
- “UN-Abkommen zu Sorgfaltspflichten wäre auch für Unternehmen in Europa von Vorteil“, blog article by Armin Paasch, Misereor, October 2023
- “Importations d’or en Suisse : Plus de transparence et un meilleur contrôle sont nécessaires – Les importations d’ARGOR-HERAEUS en provenance du Bajo Cauca (Colombie)”, Fastenaktion, September 2023 (DE)
- “La compensation carbone au prix des droits humains ?Le cas du projet BaCaSi de TotalEnergies au Congo“, enquête du CCFD-Terre Solidaire, de la Commission Diocésaine Justice et Paix (CDJP) et du Secours Catholique Caritas France (SCCF), octobre 2023.
- « L’Union européenne dans les négociations ONU Entreprises & Droits Humains : à quand le réveil ? », blog by Clara Alibert, Advocacy officer for CCFD-Terre Solidaire, 27 October 2023.
- SECAM-JPDC Statement on the UN Binding Treaty, October 2023, Mozambique”
- “Mozambique Coast of Cabo Delgado: Stop Gassing Africa. Leave Fossil Fuel in the Ground” SECAM Policy Brief, October 2023
- Nigeria, The Niger Delta: The Human and Environmental Cost of Big Oil SECAM Policy Brief, October 2023
- “Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: it is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered!”, AEFJN, AFSA, ESAFF and SECAM joint statement, October 2023
- “Together, we must care for creation”, Faith leaders’ statement, July 2023
- Study on the Complementarity between the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive and a UN legally binding Instrument (LBI) and Main take-aways from civil society, October 2022.
- Legal analysis of the third revised draft by Dr. Prof Markus Krajewski, published by CIDSE (2021)
- Opinion article: Five reasons the Binding Treaty needs to be feminist (FR) by Feminists for a Binding Treaty, 20 October 2023
CIDSE contacts in Geneva:
- Josianne Gauthier, CIDSE (gauthier(at)cidse.org)
- Wies Willems, Broederlijk Delen (Wies.Willems(at)broederlijkdelen.be)
- Clara Alibert, CCFD-Terre Solidaire (Clara ALIBERT (c.alibert(at)ccfd-terresolidaire.org)
- Ingrid Pintaritsch, DKA-Austria (Ingrid.Pintaritsch(at)dka.at)
- François Mercier, Fastenaktion (mercier(at)fastenaktion.ch)
- Armin Paasch, MISEREOR (Armin.Paasch(at)misereor.de)
- Sorcha Tunney, Trócaire (Sorcha.Tunney(at)trocaire.org)
This activity is co-founded by the European Union. The contents are the sole responsibility of the organisers and the speakers and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.