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The Corporate Crime Principles

CCHR-0929-FinalThe Corporate Crimes Principles were developed by a group of eminent legal experts, with the support of ICAR and Amnesty International, to encourage State actors to combat corporate crimes more effectively. They were developed following extensive global consultations with investigators, prosecutors, lawyers and civil society actors. The Principles provide practical guidance on issues such as: case selection, evidence collection, identifying tools, resources and strategies for effectively pursuing such cases, cross-border collaboration, and victims’ access to justice and witness protection.

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Options for Strengthening Global Tax Governance

12958The importance of global cooperation on tax issues is becoming more and more evident. The sums lost amount to hundreds of billions annually. While steps to curb the losses are underway, gaps in global tax governance remain both in the institutional setting and with regard to substantive issues. For example, there is still no body with universal membership that could discuss issues that are of particular importance to countries in the Global South. In order to fill these gaps, either existing institutions need to be further developed, or new ones established, or both. In any case, a new body would have to perform certain functions and meet particular criteria with regard to composition. A new paper formulates options for achieving this.

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180 countries adopt landmark public health decisions on tobacco control

caiAt the conclusion of the seventh session of the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty negotiations, governments representing nearly 90 percent of the world’s population adopted policies that will protect public health over the narrow interests of the tobacco industry. These include tools to hold Big Tobacco legally liable for the harms of its products, recover healthcare costs, facilitate access to justice for victims of tobacco-related disease, and safeguard public health policymaking from the industry at the national and international level. Advance policies to hold industry legally liable and protect policymaking despite Big Tobacco’s attempts to undermine talks.

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EU Action Plan on SDGs overlooks human rights risks of corporate activity

A new plan of the EU Commission to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) overlooks the urgent need to address the negative impacts the private sector has on people and the planet. ECCJ, the European civil society coalition working on corporate accountability, believes the Commission’s plan does not reflect the responsibility of companies to respect human rights, throughout their operations and supply chains, and their primary obligation to do no harm by preventing and mitigating abuses.

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Fragile! Handle with Care: Multinationals and Conflict

Report-FragileA new report by SOMO reveals that multinational companies operating in conflict-affected areas often lack proper policies for how to deal with conflict situations – thereby running the risk of contributing to human rights violations and sparking renewed conflict. To meaningfully contribute to peace, multinationals must act with much greater care in situations of fragility and conflict.

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The Path to a Right to International Solidarity

fv_2016-02_dandanSince 2005, the work on a draft declaration on the right to international solidarity has been progressing – the final draft to be presented in June 2017. In Foreign Voices 2|2016, the current Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity of the UN Human Rights Council, Virginia B. Dandan, explains the genesis of the draft declaration, its understanding of international solidarity, key issues for its final revision as well as a the path for the right to international solidarity to become effective.

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Tell World Leaders to Kick Big Polluters out of Climate Policy!

mail-bijlageThe signing of COP21 was heralded by political and business leaders as a historic turning point. Yet at EU and UN levels it appears to remain business as usual: non-binding targets, fossil fuels and failed market mechanisms. That's because both processes have actively brought the fossil fuel industry into climate policy making – the very same companies responsible for climate change. With Big Polluters so close to policy makers, it’s no wonder climate policy is being shaped in the interest of corporate climate criminals rather than people and the environment. As world leaders meet for COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco, the oil and gas industry retains a firm grip on the UN climate talks and climate policy in general. It’s time to break free and reclaim power over climate policy.

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Billions of tax avoidance?

ToxicTaxDealsVF2A report published today by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament reveals how the German chemical multinational BASF has been avoiding paying taxes in the European Union on a grand scale for years. The company BASF makes targeted use of tax advantages in individual countries, and particularly benefits from tax havens such as Belgium, Malta and the Netherlands. Between 2010 and 2014, BASF henceforth, saved a total of almost one billion euros in taxes.

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From Disparity to Dignity

disparity_to_dignity_SDG10Extreme economic inequality is one of the most urgent issues of our time, exacerbating poverty, hindering development, and undermining the full spectrum of human rights. The inclusion of a standalone goal on inequality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – Goal 10, which promises to reduce inequalities both within and between countries – has the potential to catalyze much-needed action to narrow the vast divide between the haves and the have-nots. However, SDG10 is also uniquely vulnerable to strategic neglect and political backlash or inertia.

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The ICC convicts Al Mahdi for the destruction of cultural heritage in Mali

In September 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court) found Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, a Tuareg Malian citizen, guilty of the war crime of intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments in the context of the armed conflict in Mali. He was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment whereas, in theory, he could have been sentenced to a maximum of 30.

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Event: International cooperation in tax matters

GPF_Logo_4Ck2016 marks the first year after the adoption of three major international outcome documents including the the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. To implement these decisions, all countries will need to step up the mobilization of domestic resources and increase international cooperation. One of the decisions of the 3rd FfD-Conference was to strengthen the work of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (UNTC). At our side-event, we want to learn from experts and discuss where the reform of the work of the UNTC stands more than one year after the adoption of the Addis Ababa outcomes. What is the relationship among the different formats for international cooperation? Has the goal “that efforts in international tax cooperation should be universal in approach and scope and should fully take into account the different needs and capacities of all countries, in particular least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and African countries” been achieved? Are there steps still to be taken? At a side-event on December 8 in New York, we want to discuss these questions.

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New analysis: Big polluters' have back-door access to UN climate talks

PollutersAbout one week after the countries descended on Marrakech for the negotiations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a new infographic by Corporate Accountability International reveals the true extent of the fossil fuel industry’s access to, and influence over, the talks. The analysis exposes the financial and membership ties between some of the world’s largest fossil fuel corporations and accredited business groups and trade associations at the UNFCCC. These ties present an irreconcilable conflict of interest and bolster a movement among governments and civil society groups to develop a policy within the UNFCCC to protect from such conflicts.

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Corporate accountability: Is the EU ready to listen?

cropped-logo-wordpress-1The European Commission should start listening to its citizens and come out with concrete plans to enhance corporate accountability, at home and abroad, urge Jerome Chaplier, Urs Rybi and Sandra Cossart. The European Commission is slow in responding to a letter by eight EU parliaments urging the institution to develop an ambitious legal proposal requiring corporate respect of human rights. But acting with a lack of urgency means delaying justice and remedy for victims and affected communities across the globe. The Commission should stop deferring responsibility and own up to its commitment to protect and promote human rights and the environment.
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The Monsanto Tribunal: A Report-Back

monsanto-tribunal-logoThe Monsanto Tribunal was held from October 14th to October 16th in The Hague, Netherlands at the headquarters of the International Court of Justice. For two days, victims, experts, and witnesses from around the world shared their experiences with five internationally renowned judges in order to assess Monsanto’s activities, particularly in terms of the right to food, the right to health, the right to a healthy environment, and the right to information.

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Ländersache Nachhaltigkeit

GPF_Logo_4CkDie Umsetzung der 2030-Agenda und der SDGs ist mitnichten allein Aufgabe der Bundesregierung. Auch die Bundesländer haben in den Bereichen, für die sie über Kompetenzen und Kapazitäten verfügen, an der Verwirklichung der Agenda mitzuwirken. Bereits im Vorfeld der Verabschiedung der 2030 Agenda haben einige Bundesländer die Gelegenheit ergriffen und ihre jeweiligen Nachhaltigkeitsstrategien bzw. Entwicklungspolitischen Leitlinien überarbeitet. In anderen Bundesländern ist dieser Prozess noch im Gange oder steht noch aus. In einem Workshop am 15. Dezember 2016 in Bonn werden wir über verschiedenen Vorschläge und Ansätze berichten und sie vergleichen, um sie für Diskussionen in anderen Bundesländern und auch für Diskussionen auf Bundesebene nutzbar zu machen.
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Monsanto Lobbying: an attack on us, our planet and democracy

monsantoreportCorporations like Monsanto have vast resources to buy political power through lobbying. Not only are they represented by numerous lobbying associations at every level from local to global, they also have an army of hired-gun lobbyists, fund scientists to act as their mouthpiece, and participate in ‘greenwashing’ projects. A short guide published by Corporate Europe Observatory at the occasion of the International Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, exposes some of Monsanto’s key lobbying strategies and tools, illustrated with examples from different parts of the world.

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Refining the Indicators: Opening the process; open for influence?

gpw_smallerAs the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development concludes, the technical work at/of the UN continues to refine and agree on the global indicators to measure progress. This involves circulating selected indicators for consultation, adopting a lead agency to collect and submit the data and adopting an agreed methodology, as well as fundraising to increase the extent of data coverage and building capacity. At the same time, as this is a work in progress, many Member States have undertaken national initiatives to review the SDGs and incorporate them into national policy and budget processes.

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Switzerland in UN hotseat over women’s rights impacts of its role as tax haven

switzerland_cedaw_submission_2nov2016Switzerland—arguably the world's leading tax haven—faced tough questions from a UN human rights body in Geneva on 3 November 2016 over the toll that its tax and financial secrecy policies take on women's rights across the globe. Prompted by a submission from CESR, Alliance Sud, the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law, Public Eye and the Tax Justice Network, the UN Committee mandated to oversee compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) probed Switzerland on how it will ensure that its financial secrecy policies and corporate tax rules are consistent with its commitments to promote gender equality and sustainable development abroad.

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Side Event: Corporate Influence and Accountability in the UN

GPF_Logo_4CkIn a joint side event with other Civil Society Organizations we will assess the state of corporate influence in the business and human rights debates, in global health, the agriculture, food and nutrition policy domains. We will discuss possible policies and safeguards such as WHO’s Framework of Engagement with non-State Actors (FENSA) and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that have been put in place to protect against conflicts of interest in these respective domains. We will also inform about further debates to regulate the UN’s engagement with private actors such as the discussions in the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR).

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Political momentum on water raises red flags

On 21 September 2016 the UN newly convened High-level Panel on Water (HLPW), called for a fundamental shift in the way the world looks at water. Supported by the World Economic Forum and its water initiative, the HLPW was formed to help “build the political momentum” to deliver on the U.N. mandated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on “water and related targets” that the UN member governments agreed to in 2015. The HLPW is co-convened by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the World Bank Group Dr. Jim Yong Kim. Co-chaired by the presidents of Mexico and Mauritius, the Panel is comprised of 11 sitting Heads of State and Government and one Special Adviser “to provide the leadership required to champion a comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative way of developing and managing water resources, and improving water and sanitation related services”. But will the HLPW provide this leadership? How do we ensure that the leadership is inclusive, transparent and accountable?

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