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Environmental federation Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) commended this Friday the “increasing support, interest and mobilization” in Geneva, Switzerland, during the new round of UN negotiations for a binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights violations, and called to continue mobilizing towards the new stage of negotiations for a “strong and effective Treaty”.
“This Treaty was always meant to be about binding rules to finally rein in the behaviour of transnational companies and their supply chains. The fact that so many countries—led by South Africa and Ecuador—voiced their unequivocal support for legally binding rules, sets exactly the right tone for an ambitious and far-reaching negotiation,” said Lucía Ortiz, co-coordinator of Friends of the Earth International’s Economic Justice-Resisting Neoliberalism programme in a press release issued by FoEI.
The environmental activists expressed their satisfaction to see an increasing number of countries, including the European Union and member states, participating in the second session of the Intergovernmental Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council towards a binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights. They also welcomed the “positive and constructive exchange” by the States and representatives of social movements and organizations from the five continents.
With reference to the European Union, FoEI stated that "we were hoping that they would participate more actively in the debate, and would be more prepared, but at least they came”.
The federation with main offices in Amsterdam and present in over 70 countries also highlighted the strong presence and mobilization of social movements and organizations in Geneva this week (in parallel to official negotiations), especially representatives of communities directly affected by transnational corporations all over the world.
“Friends of the Earth International looks forward to the next stage in this pivotal process, when Ecuador, the Chair, will begin a process for formal negotiations”, added the press release issued yesterday. So far the official negotiations were focused on exchanging about the possible contents of the future treaty. “It is also important to continue to resist business’ attempts to capture the process and weaken ambitions”, and to “start crafting the concrete elements needed for a strong and effective Treaty”, concluded FoEI.
Imagen: Víctor Barro, Friends of the Earth International
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