Between transnational corporations, states and peoples, there is an undeniable asymmetry. On one hand, with the complicity of states that are in that are interested in guaranteeing that they are “attracting investment”, transnational corporations have been covering themselves with a solid armour made up of free trade and investment protection agreements and their respective sanctioning mechanisms. Institutions such as the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) constitute clear examples of the privatisation of justice, as well as any ISDS mechanism. On the other hand, violations of human rights and the rights of peoples and nature have become inherent to transnational corporations operations, as well as systematic. But at the international level there is no binding rule for corporations on Human Rights.
In June 2014, the Human Rights Council had adopted the resolution 26/9 on the elaboration of an International legally binding instrument on transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises with respect to human rights.
This was a historic achievement after decades of discussions and failed attempts within the United Nations. Such a legally binding Instrument is essential for two dimensions of the Global Campaign’s work: to end corporate impunity, and address the systemic power of transnational corporations which has reached unprecedented impacts on the daily lives of affected communities.
La Via Campesina, as a movement representing peasants, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, and millions of small-scale food producers from over 80 countries, has been playing a proactive role to echo the demands of the Global Campaign. Peasant leaders from the movement has also contributed actively to the treaty proposal prepared by civil society organisations.
In August 2020, the OEIGWG Presidency published the 2nd Revised Draft of the UN Binding Treaty. The Global Campaign, of which La Via Campesina is a part of has published a first Statement on the 2nd Revised Draft.
The ‘2020 Peoples Mobilisation on #BindingTreaty’ coincides with the 6th Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group mandated to develop a UN Binding Treaty on Transnational Corporations and other business enterprises with respect to Human Rights (OEIGWG).
As every year since the approval of the UN Human Rights Council historical Resolution 26/9 (2014), the Campaign is back, in order to continue pressuring governments to keep the process of building the Binding Treaty and moving forward.
All October and November this year, members and allies of the campaign are organising virtual activities linked to the struggle against corporate impunity and for the UN Binding Treaty. See the calendar here.