During the debate the Equadorian ambassador at the Human Rights Council, Luis Gallegos Chiriboga, added a small but important paragraph to the resolution:
"Emphesizing that civil society actors have an important and legimtate role in promoting corporate social responsability and in promoting corporate social responsibility and in preventing, mitigating, and seeking remedy for adverse human rights impacts of transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises."
See the blog "Recovery with a Human Face", A discussion on alternatives for a socially-responsive crisis recoveryIsabel Ortiz, Director Social Protection ILO,
July 04th, 2014, published 07/04/2014http://www.recoveryhumanface.org/e-discussion-2013/archives/07-2014
"The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted, through a vote, a historic and significant resolution to start a process for an international legally instrument on transnational corporations.
Officially entitled "Elaboration of an international legally binding instrument on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with respect to Human Rights" (A/HRC/26/L.22) the resolution was adopted on 26 June at the 26th session of the HRC.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Ecuador and South Africa, and also supported by Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela.¬†
In the vote on the resolution, 20 Members of the HRC supported the resolution, while 13 Members abstained, and 14 Members voted against it.
Countries that supported the resolution include: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Congo, Cote D'Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, South Africa, Venezuela, Vietnam.
Countries that abstained include: Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Gabon, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, and United Arab Emirates.
Countries that voted against the resolution include: Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Republic of Korea, Romania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, and United States of America.
In presenting the resolution to the HRC, Ambassador Luis Gallegos Chiriboga of Ecuador stressed that the Council owes its existence to those who tirelessly fight to protect human rights and the victims of human rights violation, including those that are most needful for protection and support. He called upon the Council to correct injustices, including the lack of protection for victims of violations of human rights abuses carried out by TNCs. He noted that these corporations benefit from binding international protections. However, victims of harmful corporate activities lack access to legal protection, while only having available voluntary norms.
Speaking on behalf of South Africa, Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty noted that the government of South Africa accords special priority in regard to issues of TNCs, business, and human rights.
He highlighted that the South African government holds a strong view that these entities, which are the primary drivers of globalization, cannot operate in a void. He added that TNCs and other business enterprises often operate in an environment where appropriate national legislation to effectively regulate their operations, or mitigate the propensity for their violation of human rights, is either absent or very weak.
Experience shows that in countries of the North, where there are strong binding laws and regulations promulgated by national parliaments, the violations of human rights by corporations are significantly minimized, according to Ambassador Minty. He stressed that a universal regulatory framework in the form of a binding instrument to provide legal protections, effective remedies, as well as a range of other measures in quest for protections of victims, is desirable and imperative. He also recalled that global mass mobilizations by over 500 civil society organizations calling for such an instrument.
Does the World Need a Treaty on Business and Human Rights?Weighing the Pros and ConsNotes of the Workshop and Public Debate, Notre Dame Law School, 14th May 2014, by the Business a nd Human Rights Resource Centre
¬†¬† The proposal for an international binding treaty on business and human rights is a hot topic. The Government of Ecuador proposed the treaty at the UN Human Rights Council session in September 2013 and over 80 states have supported the initiative. It has also gained the support of over 150 civil society organisations. The UN Human Rights Council in June 2014, will discuss whether and how this will progress.
¬†¬† Notre Dame University and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre held a public debate on 14 May 2014 to bring together some of the academics, lawyers, activists, and business representatives, committed to furthering human rights at the core of business operations, to consider the balance of arguments for and against a treaty on business and human rights.
See the YouTube video of the debate held at Univ. Notre Dame,
London campus, 14 May 2014
See a workshop report...
See a comment of John G. Ruggie, the former UN Special Representative on business & human rights and¬†, about "Legally binding international instruments on business & human rights" vs. "Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GPs)"
Regulating Multinationals: The UN Guiding Principles, Civil Society, and International Legalization
John Gerard Ruggie
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), July 30, 2014
Business and Human Rights: Beyond the End of the Beginning, C√©sar Rodriguez-Garavito, ed., Forthcoming
Abstract: ¬†¬† Calls to regulate transnational corporations (TNCs) through a single overarching international treaty instrument go back to the 1970s. Over time, pressure for such a treaty has come most persistently from activists, and more intermittently from developing countries.
¬†¬† A recent civil society assessment sums up the record to date: "All these efforts met with vigorous opposition from TNCs and their business associations, and they ultimately failed."
¬†¬† In contrast, in June 2011 the Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GPs), which I developed over the course of a six year mandate as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, through nearly fifty international consultations in all regions of the world.
¬†¬† The GPs are the first authoritative guidance that the Council and its predecessor body, the Commission on Human Rights, have issued for states and business enterprises on their respective obligations in relation to business and human rights; and it marked the first time that either body "endorsed" a normative text on any subject that governments did not negotiate themselves. In comparison with normative and policy developments in other difficult domains, such as climate change, uptake of the GPs has been relatively swift and widespread.
¬†¬† This paper addresses the logic behind the UN Guiding Principles, and what form of international legalization is best suited to build on them.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Other comments of John Gerard Ruggie: On 28 January 2014,John Ruggie released an issues brief in response to Ecuador's proposal for a legally binding instrument, and updates on the issue in May, June and July 2014.
See the links here...
On 13 March 2014, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) hosted a public event on "Access to Justice and Extractive Industries". The event was co-organised by LSE,EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade) and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. A panel of international legal and industry experts discussed issues of environmental justice, human rights, minerals and mining. You can watch the whole event here:
See details: http://www.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2014/03/20140313t1830vHKT.aspxVideo of presentations¬†: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05q64jDDwrg
The EJOLT project also launched its global map of environmental (in)justice at this event.
(On this webpage you may filter environmental conflicts, zoom into different regions, identify the cases and show google maps of the cases region)