This week, world
leaders will meet at the United Nations in Geneva to negotiate a historic
international treaty to ensure companies respect human rights and the
environment in their global operations – the UN Treaty on Business and Human
Rights. Representatives of the European Union will be attending the opening and
closing session, but will not participating in discussions on the content of
the treaty text. Why this abstention when we are talking about protecting
people's rights against damaging corporations, about giving victims of
corporate abuse access to justice?
'We do not shy away from binding
norms when they are needed', says @EU_UNGeneva.
So, walk the walk and don't remain silent during the rest of the week. We need
now, voluntary measures are not enough to #StopCorporateImpunity
Friends of the Earth (@foeeurope) October 15, 2018
Union and its Member States are important actors when it comes to shaping
globalisation. But as our new briefing analyses, the EU has been playing a
double role in this process, designing several treaties that give corporations
extraordinary powers while hindering efforts to hold these very same companies
This double agenda is
exemplified by the EU’s actions in two areas: its reluctance to support binding
and enforceable rights for citizens through an UN Treaty, while at the same
time expanding and entrenching a system of legally binding and enforceable
investor rights and privileges that grants corporations power over governments
corporate accountability campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said:
rights system enables European companies to keep wrecking human rights and
damaging communities everywhere around the globe. Victims of corporate abuse
have no access to justice while companies have all kinds of VIP rights through
trade deals. Citizens need a Binding Treaty now, and the EU should take its
fair share of responsibility to finally put people over profit
The legal basis
for achieving such a turnaround is now in the hands of Member states in Geneva.
What is needed now is a reversal of political priorities, by putting human
rights and environmental protection ahead of corporate interests and profits.