The CETIM spent three days in Brussels for an expert seminar on the subject of multinationals and human rights, in preparation for the second session of the Working Group on transnational corporations and human rights. The last day, a public conference was held at the European Parliament, organized by the parliamentary group European United Left (NGL). The integration of the progressive European parties into the process of the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign) shows that the front-line for a binding international treaty is widening more and more.
From 28 to 30 May 2016, the members of the Global Campaign met in Brussels for a working seminar in the context of the process for the adoption of new binding legal norms for transnational corporations (TNCs). The idea was to bring together around the same table all those involved in the process: representatives of the affected communities, activists of social movements, experts and members of civil society. In anticipation of the second session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights (scheduled for October 2016), this seminar provided a period of concerted effort, to build a coherent vision of the essential aspects of the process. This made it possible for the Global Campaign to define its position with a view to presenting its proposals during the next session of the Working Group.
On 30 May 2016, a public conference was held at the European Parliament, “How to Hold Multinationals Responsible for Human Rights Violations?” It was organized by the left-wing parliamentary group NGL and particularly by the Spanish party Podemos and the German party Die Linke. Owing to the work of the Global Campaign, the European left-wing group has integrated into its political agenda the fight against transnational corporate power. This constitutes a major step forward that will contribute to reinforcing the process by a voice that will carry the Global Campaign to the European level.
The purpose of the public conference was to widen and reinforce the participation in, and the commitment to, the Global Campaign by the European members of parliament as well as by national parliaments. Moreover, the event was organized so as to enrich the discussion with new arguments in favor of the binding treaty, through the mobilization of the MPs of the European left in the development of concrete proposals for the future treaty.
The first panel of the conference focused the discussion on the architecture of global corporate power’s impunity, based on the legal framework of free trade and investment. Later, the discussion of the second panel dealt with the road map for the future binding United Nations treaty on TNCs and human rights. You can watch the video of the conference here