TNC Impunity: 5th session of the negotiations on the binding treaty on TNCs and human rights


Dossier published by the Global Campaign to Claim the Sovereignty of Peoples, Dismantle Corporate Power and End Impunity (Global Campaign), for which CETIM is the UN coordinator.

5th session of the United Nations Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG) on the Treaty on “Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises in the Field of Human Rights” was held in Geneva from 14 to 18 October 2019. The process is at the heart of the negotiations. States and civil society organizations were called upon to discuss and negotiate a new draft revised treaty, presented by the Chair of the Working Group (held by Ecuador) in July 2019.

Highlights of the 5th negotiating session of the UN legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and human rights:

– The content of the draft treaty (revised version presented at the 5th session) deviates from the mandate of the Working Group (resolution 26/9).

– The draft did not take into account the fundamental proposals of the Global Campaign. The latter will continue to act to defend and develop the key elements of the revised draft. We hope that the future project will evolve into a document that reflects the fruitful debate of the past four years, with particular emphasis on the needs and demands of affected communities, whose suffering is the root cause of this process.

– Civil society participation has been challenged by some States and successfully advocated by civil society delegates as well as by the majority of States.

– The negotiations have reached a new point of maturity and strength with a significant number of States participating substantially with concrete proposals

– Following extensive criticism from civil society and many States, the Presidency is to rework the draft treaty, accompanied by a document on key elements, to be presented to the 6th session of the Intergovernmental Working Group (October 2020).

Read the Final Declaration of the Global Campaign on the 5th session of the negotiations in English

Many members of the Global Inter-Parliamentary Network for the Binding Treaty were also present at the 5th negotiating session. See the list of signatories: The mandate of the Intergovernmental Working Group to elaborate a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and human rights derives from resolution 26/9 adopted by the Human Rights Council in 2014. Official page:

PDF of the CETIM publication “Impunité des sociétés transnationales” in English

See the videos of the parallel conferences organized during the week:

The situation of Ecuador / The construction of a treaty: analysis of the revised project

Reflections by regional and national parliamentarians

Experiences in international litigation


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