Treaty Alliance, Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Feminists for the Treaty and ESCR-Net write letter of recommendations to the Chair
Considering that the negotiations of the Legally Binding Instrument (LBI) have taken a qualitative leap forward with the new methodology adopted at the VII session of the OEIGWG, which brings transparency and encourages States to take a position on concrete language of the draft LBI, and proposals of amendments made by other States;
Considering the importance of the inter-sessional period, during which the Chair Rapporteur, together with the “group of Friends of the Chair”, will continue to advance the consolidation of the draft LBI through consultations concerning the specific provisions of the text, in order to present, a few months before the session, a revised text for negotiations at the VIII session;
Recalling the essential role played by civil society in the last seven years, defending the continuity of this process, and nurturing it with detailed analyses and very concrete content proposals, developed with the direct participation of people and communities affected by human rights violations and abuses committed by transnational corporations;
We, the civil society organizations, would like to express our concern about the risk of losing transparency and participation in the process, and propose that the recommendations of the Chair-Rapporteur and the conclusions of the OEIGWG include mechanisms that ensure effective civil society’s participation and engagement throughout the intersessional period.
As mentioned by the Scenario note published by the Chair, “Civil society organizations, other observers and relevant stakeholders may be consulted as appropriate by the “Friends of the Chair” during the inter-sessional period and may submit written inputs to the “Friends of the Chair” process and may observe inter-governmental negotiations on the text held within this context as may be consistent with the Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Council.”
Accordingly, and in order to ensure the transparency of and participation in the entire treaty process, we propose:
1- To make available the interventions and text contributions made by the civil society organizations, together with the documentation of the session and the process as a whole, so that such contributions constitute a source of consultation (and inspiration) for the States;
2- That the negotiating text proposals put forward by the “Friends of the Chair” be updated and published in real time, as the informal consultation process progresses in the intersectional period;
3- That the Chair of the IGWG, together with the “Friends of the Chair”, organize bimonthly information and consultation meetings with civil society, social movements, representatives of affected communities, excluding representatives of business, in order to report on the work and progress of the process, including specific points of consensus and dissent on the language and content of the legally binding instrument, as well as to hear and take into account the proposals of civil society.
4- That the “Friends of the Chair”’s working methodology, in addition to the possibility of “submitting written inputs” and “observing inter-governmental negotiations on the text” mentioned above, include regular consultations with civil society organizations.
We urge Member States, to make a substantive effort to meet the needs of those affected and to listen to their recommendations. It is primarily affected people and communities to whom the LBI should provide effective access to justice and full respect and protection of their human rights. At the same time, as established for instance in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, it is imperative to protect the LBI negotiation process from the undue influence of powerful actors whose actions are not guided by the protection and defense of human rights and our planet, but rather by the protection of their particular economic interests.
Treaty Alliance, Global Campaign , The Feminists for a Binding Treaty and ESCR-Net