I speak, of course, of the new Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities Corporations and Other Business Enterprises," released on 16 July 2019 by the open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) Chairmanship. "Ahead of the fifth session, the Permanent Mission of Ecuador, on behalf of the Chairmanship of the OEIGWG, released a revised draft legally binding instrument on business activities and human rights. The revised draft will serve as the basis for direct substantive intergovernmental negotiations during the fifth session of the OEIGWG, to be held from 14 to 18 October 2019, in Geneva." (Source: Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights: Mandate).
Still, this is a worthy exercise (as I have suggested before (here, here, here, and here), not so much for its stated objectives, but for the principles and perspectives they may generate to contribute to the next generation of structural governance instruments that will have top be developed over the course of the next decade. To that end, a study of this Draft "Legally Binding Instrument" is both worthy and important--not just out of respect for those worthy people whose vision is therein articulated, but also for the value that its insights and failings contribute toward the useful end of embedding principles and expectations grounded in human rights within all economic activities. It will be useful, in that respect to compare this Draft to the original Zero Draft that circulated last year.
Note Verbale by the Chairmanship of the Working Group regarding the release of the revised draft legally binding instrument it was noted that:
The Chairmanship will convene informal consultations with Governments, regional groups, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations mechanisms, civil society, and other relevant stakeholders, before the fifth session of the OEIGWG, including on an updated program of work, in accordance with additional information to be announced in due course.The Coalition for Peace and Ethics, as a member of that large group of interested stakeholders largely ignored by those who have been selected to influence the process--that is, as part of what the OEIGWG dismissively implies as the class of "irrelevant stakeholders"--urges all similarly situated stakeholders to make their views known to the OEIGWG and their functionaries before October 2019. We encourage all civil society, business, state, and other actors, to participate actively and fearlessly in the process leading to (and eventually from) the efforts to fashion this instrument in this way. CPE will be delighted to post those comments as well to its website as part of its Coalition for Peace and Ethics Project on the Effort to Elaborate an International Instrument on Business and Human Rights (for CPE Treaty Project analysis of the prior draft see ZeroDraft). Direct comments to email@example.com.
In addition, over the course of the next several posts, the Coalition for Peace and Ethics BHR Treaty Project will consider this Draft "Legally Binding Instrument." For this post the CPE-Treaty Project provides a copy of the Draft, which follows along with the Note Verbabale (along with additional links).
- Revised draft legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises
- Note Verbale by the Chairmanship of the Working Group regarding the release of the revised draft legally binding instrument
- Report of the fourth session and Addendum
Invitation for States and other relevant
stakeholders to submit their comments and proposals on the draft legally
binding instrument no later than the end of February 2019
(A/HRC/40/48, para 91 (a))
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- Programme of work for the 4th session
- Draft Programme of work for the 5th session
- Note Verbale by the Chairmanship of the Working Group regarding the transmission of the draft programmes of work
- Zero draft legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises
- Note Verbale by the Chairmanship of the Working Group regarding the release of the zero draft legally binding instrument
- Zero draft optional protocol to the zero draft legally binding instrument
- Note Verbale by the Chairmanship of the Working Group regarding the release of the zero draft optional protocol
- Non-exhaustive list of documents consulted during the preparation of the zero draft of the legally binding instrument
- Note Verbale by the Chairmanship of the Working Group regarding the non-exhaustive list of documents consulted
- A/HRC/RES/WG.16/4/1: Provisional Agenda for the Fourth Session