Commentary: Proposed binding treaty on business & human rights could be counterpoint to intl. investment agreements

Author: Adam Parsons, Share the World's Resources (UK), Published on: 14 November 2016

"The Struggle Continues for a Binding Treaty to #StopCorporateAbuse", 5 Nov 2016

In the last week of October, civil society came another step closer to achieving a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights. Delegates from many large social movements and networks met alongside state representatives at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, to further proceedings for an open-ended intergovernmental working group set up two years ago. Despite considerable opposition...activist groups are now ramping up the struggle as part of a Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples’ Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity...A binding treaty to regulate the activities of TNCs could therefore provide a vital counterpoint to the controversial free trade and investment agreements that are being continually negotiated in secret, without any democratic legitimacy...the treaty process remains an important opportunity for interlinking popular resistance struggles, building counterpower, and slowly cracking the immense wall of corporate impunity. It is a process that should concern not only human rights activists, but everyone who campaigns for a more democratic, sustainable and egalitarian world that places people and nature ahead of transnational corporate interests...

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