The result of the strong mobilization of social movements


When in September 2013 Ecuador presented to the Human Rights Council, on behalf of a group of 85 countries (African group, Arab Group, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kirghistan, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru), a statement supporting a legally binding instrument, hundreds of social movements and organizations from all around the world, including the CETM, supported this initiative.

The CETIM got involved in this campaign together with the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign), an international network comprising over 200 social movements, organizations, trade unions and representatives of victims and affected communities from all around the world

A larger coalition supporting a binding treaty (Treaty Alliance) was formed with organizations such as FIAN, the Transnational Institute (TNI), Friends of the Earth, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) or Franciscans International, among others. A joint statement has been developed to support the process and has been signed by hundreds of organizations.

The mobilization of hundreds of social movements and organizations in Geneva and around the world was critical, at a moment when the pressures of western countries and the lobby of transnational corporations were undermining the support of some states.

The resolution was finally adopted by a modest majority of the Human Rights Council, with 20 votes in favor, 14 against and 13 abstentions, with the support of most of the countries of the Global South and in spite of ferocious opposition from the Western countries, which refused – and continue to refuse – any binding regulation in this area.

The resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council defines the work program of the intergovernmental working group for its first two sessions. These are to be devoted to discussions on the content, the scope, the nature and the form of the future international instrument. During the third, the negotiations will begin in earnest on the content of the instrument, on the basis of a proposal which will have been prepared by the Chair-Rapporteur of the working group.

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