This morning, activists from around the world gathered in front of the United Nations in Geneva to launch the Week of Mobilisation against abuses by transnational corporations.
As this week marks the start of the negotiations of a Treaty on transnational corporations (TNCs) and human rights, we are working with a number of other organisations to call on governments to take an active part in the negotiations and put and end to corporate impunity.
The launch in front of the Palais des Nations featured activists of all ages and from various countries who have been involved in the long process that has taken us to the start of the negotiations. Speaking in English, Spanish and French, they all emphasised that we are at a historical moment in time, but that we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us.
A treaty would serve to hold TNCs accountable for their violations of human rights, and fill the legal gaps in which they now operate with impunity. However, a number of States are still against the negotiations and are threatening not to attend the meetings.
There are other challenges as well: “Many of these corporations are bigger and more powerful than the States that seek to regulate them,” the speakers pointed out at the meeting, “and there are a number of systems actively protecting their interests.”
Another challenge is to make sure that the Treaty actually becomes an effective and legally binding instrument. One of the demands of the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, is that the Treaty must reaffirm the hierarchical superiority of human rights norms over trade and investment treaties.
WILPF is part of the Treaty Alliance, an alliance of organisations and networks working to end corporate impunity, and we will be taking an active part in this process. This week, we will co-organise two side events at the UN on the topic. Read our last blog to learn more.
Follow the debate and join the discussion!