Joint Oral Statement on draft treaty concerning the transnational corporations

VIVAT International as part of the Mining Working group, cosponsored a Joint Oral Statement on draft treaty concerning the transnational corporations.

Link to the text in pdf file

Thank you, Mr./Madame Chair,

I am making this statement on behalf of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and 10[1] undersigned NGOs.

We want to thank the Chairmanship of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations for the report on the progress made to establish the legally binding instrument. We understand, that the treaty shall serve as complementary tool to improve the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as her Excellency, Michelle Bachelet mentioned last Wednesday, when she met with NGOs.

We support Harris Gleckman´s – one of the experts – approach, which calls for ‘the establishment of clear and effective standards, rules and procedures to counterbalance those which have disproportionate power today’.

We encourage States to strengthen and incorporate into their domestic laws clear provisions and obligations to enforce corporate human rights, due diligence policies, including within supply chains, subsidiaries and private investors.

The Draft Treaty’s focus on the rights of victims and access to justice and remedy is key, especially for human and environmental rights defenders. In regards to the rights of victims, we promote the establishment of a forum where those most affected, in particular women, can testify, safely and privately, in regards to injustices (Article 8.11 and 8.12).
We call for the integration of preventative mechanisms, as outlined in the four step due diligence approach of the UN Guiding Principles within the legally binding instrument and recommend that regulations mandate human and environmental impact assessments that are ongoing and regular.

Thank you!

[1] Congregation of the Mission, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Dominicans for Justice and Peace, Dominican Leadership Conference, Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, International Presentation Association, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Medical Mission Sisters AKA Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries, Partnership for Global Justice, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, VIVAT International