CETIM’s statements at the UN


Last September, CETIM issued Declarations on various themes during the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council. Below are some extracts :

Examination of the Report by the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development

CETIM agrees with the Special Rapporteur that the effective implementation of the Right to Development requires above all respect for sovereignty and democratic decision making at the national and international level. In this regard, TNC activities, financial institutions and international trade must comply with the objectives of the UN Charter and the Declaration on the Right to Development. We also consider that a legally binding instrument on the Right to Development is required for effective implementation of this right.

Implementation of the Declaration on the rights of peasants

Zainal Arifin Fuat, member of La Via Campesina, spoke on behalf of CETIM:

The historic adoption by the Council and the UN General Assembly has provided an impetus to the international community to address inequality and discrimination which disproportionately affects rural populations worldwide. Since its adoption, a new phase of implementation will become part of our common agendas, as a process in which peasants, states and UN bodies cooperate.

The programmatic and public policy approach of the UN Decade of Family Farming should contribute to clarity and to various ways of implementing the norms of the Declaration.

Extra-judicial executions in Madagascar

CETIM is alarmed by the continuing extra-judicial executions of zebu pastoralists in the South of Madagascar, perpetrated by the armed forces of successive governments since 2012. The repression clearly aims to terrorize and displace the populations of regions that are rich in natural resources in order to make their lands available to transnational corporations in the mining and agro-industrial sectors. Given the insecurity that has plagued several regions for far too long and the inaction of Madagascan authorities, CETIM requests that the Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial Executions undertake a country visit to carry out an investigation.

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and CETIM warmly welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Baskut Tuncak. The set of principles he has developed represents a major contribution to workers’ struggle for decent work.

States and business actors can eliminate or minimize workers’ exposures and must do so with urgency. To this end, we call on all member states and business enterprises to implement the “Principles on human rights and the protection of workers from exposure to toxic substances” elaborated by the Special Rapporteur on the basis of existing international human rights norms, ILO conventions and other multilateral agreements.

Private military and security companies

The CETIM is particularly concerned by the difficulty in establishing responsibilities and obtaining redress for victims in the case of violations commited by private military and security companies (PMSC). These entities have become major actors in the current world economic system, posing a challenge to the enforceable rule of law by states. In addition, in relation to legal and administrative matters, PMSC use complex legal arrangements to short circuit national laws. Unless PMSC are banned, it is essential to regulate their obligations and ensure that they are held responsible for their actions, and not only through state responsibility, as usually defined.

Unilateral, coercive measures and human rights

CETIM supports the initiative to develop a UN Declaration on the negative impacts of unilateral coercive measures (UCM) on the enjoyment of human rights. UCM are measures applied to States, individuals or entities by a state or a groups of states or regional organizations without or bypassing the authority of the UN Security Council, with a view to modifying the behaviour of states that are directly ou indirectly targeted. (This is a definition proposed by Alena Douhan, Director of International Law at MITSO Univeristy in Minsk, Belarus, during a meeting of the Human Rights Council.)

We consider that it is important that the future project highlight those instruments, the norms of which are systematically violated, when such measures are applied. We think that the future project needs to be clear on the illegality of UCM as an instrument of foreign policy of a State. It is essential to assert the illegality of such instruments without conditions ; i.e. not only when they directly cause human rights violations, as the current project provides. In this regard we urge all States to participate actively and constructively in the development of this instrument.

Complete versions of the Declarations are available here

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