ICJ calls on States to act seriously and purposefully towards progress in business and human rights treaty negotiations

As the sixth session if the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEWG) working on a draft treaty convenes, the ICJ welcomes the Revised Draft treaty and calls on States to work to overcome political obstacles an make substantial progress towards completing its work on this much needed treaty.

The session, which takes place from 26 to 30 October, has before it a second Revised Draft of a Legally Binding Instrument, presented by the Chairmanship of the OEWG. The ICJ welcomes this draft as a very good basis for negotiations, though it considers that certain provisions still require revision and refinement.

The session takes place in the difficult and uncertain backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its serious impacts on human rights such as the right to health and strains on the capacity of States and society to tackle its consequences.

The ICJ is especially concerned at the adverse impact of the restrictions imposed on civil society participation deriving from the rules adopted by the UN for the holding of meetings, while at the same time understanding that meetings cannot be held in the normal manner particularly given the recent increase of COVID cases in Geneva.

In general and with some exceptions, the Second revised Draft LBI reflects changes in the text, structure and organization of the draft articles that improve its potential to serve as an effective protective instrument, as well as increase its overall coherence. The ICJ considers the second Revised draft as a good starting point for negotiations which states should engage into without further delay.

Universal-ICJ comments on BHR treaty 2-Advocacy-2020-ENG (full statement in PDF)

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