Today, the UN Human Rights Council discussed the report by the Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG)  regarding a binding treaty on business and human rights. Civil society organisations and countries, including the EU, supported the presentation and called for the continuation of the process. This means the 4th session of the IGWG will take place in October, as scheduled.
***Update 18 April: The Milan court hearing scheduled today on the Nigerian Ikebiri community's case against oil giant ENI/NAOC has been postponed as, both parties sought the court's permission to suspend the case to allow them to explore further the possibility of an out-of-court settlement that could end the conflict. We expect that the company will now offer adequate compensation and clean up according to the community's legitimate grievance. The court has agreed to set the next hearing for October 23, 2018.***
Anne van Schaik, Friends of the Earth Europe’s corporate accountability campaigner, attended the recent week of negotiations in Geneva for a UN Treaty on business and human rights, and writes here about the outcomes and the unhelpful role of the European Union.
Monday 23 October will mark the start of the negotiations at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on a binding treaty for businesses in relation to human rights.
This is a historic opportunity to ensure that affected communities, Human and Environmental Rights Defenders and others who are victim of corporate abuse have enhanced access to justice.
Over the last few years, many issues have brought people into the streets in their thousands to demonstrate against the dodgy transatlantic trade deals TTIP and CETA. But perhaps the most contentious has been the issue of ‘corporate courts’ proposed for the frozen EU-US trade deal, TTIP – in trade jargon, known as an Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.
The European Commission must double efforts to create the more resilient and sustainable financial system that Europe needs, according to a coalition of environmental and development organisations.
Florent Compain, President of Les Amis de la Terre / Friends of the Earth France was fined a symbolic €500 today, a decision that the group condemns, for his role in the peaceful 'Faucheur de chaises' protest – a grassroots initiative to highlight the tax evasion of large financial institutions and banks like BNP Paribas.
The European Commission today released new proposals for how the European Union deals with globalization issues.
Paul de Clerck from Friends of the Earth Europe reacted to the 'Harnessing Globalisation' paper:
The European Parliament voted today on rules that would make companies more accountable to their shareholders, making a step towards a more accountable and sustainable financial system, according to Friends of the Earth Europe, ShareAction and WWF Europe.
The Shareholder Rights Directive is intended to tackle the lack of transparency between companies and shareholders – a significant barrier to challenging unsustainable business and investment practices.