Statement to Panel B: “Domestic and international private business and finance”

FfD Forum 2019

Statement to Panel B: “Domestic and international private business and finance” on behalf of Civil Society FfD Group (including the Women’s Working Group on FfD)

Delivered by Ana María Suárez Franco, FIAN International

17 April 2019

I speak on behalf of the Civil Society FFD Group and FIAN International, member of the Treaty Alliance, the Global Campaign for peoples Sovereignty, the Feminists for the binding treaty and the Consortium on Extraterritorial Obligations. All these gather more than 1.200 organizations and individuals defending human rights in the area of TNC and other business.

I will refer to the process on going in the Human Rights Council towards a Binding Instrument on Transnational Companies and Other Business Enterprises with respect to Human Rights.

In our work with grass root communities and movements, it is clear that the achievement of the SDGs by 2030 will be impossible if abuses and violations of human rights in the context of transnational business activities continue unduly regulated and remain in impunity. For example, it will be impossible to achieve the second goal to reduce hunger and malnutrition, if resources grabbing continues destructing peoples livelihoods without legal consequences.

The binding instrument is key to ensure prevention and access to remedy for the affected communities. It will serve to strengthen international legal security and governments’ position in the frame of contracts with enterprises, as well as to ensure a fair international regulatory playing field for business and investment. Inter alia, the treaty should correct existing legal asymmetries, recognizing states human rights’ extraterritorial obligations and international obligations of TNCs and OBS. It should include recourse mechanisms accessible for the victims in all the states where the involved companies along the value chain are domiciled or have their substantial activities, and ensure their joint responsibility.

After 4th sessions of the working group, a first draft will be negotiated in October. This is a space for inter-governmental debate on these and other issues. Since sustainable development is impossible without corporate legal accountability including beyond borders, we urge states to support and participate actively in the process towards the Binding Instrument.

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