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Statement of the Treaty Alliance Germany on the revised draft for a legally binding UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights

Treaty_2019_WEB_6seitig_UKOn the basis of in-depth consultations with governments, researchers and civil society, the Ecuadorian Chairman Emilio Rafael Izquierdo Miño published a consolidated draft agreement (»Revised Draft«) in July 2019. This document will serve as the basis for "substantive negotiations" during the upcoming fifth session of the working group, to be held in Geneva from 14 to 18 October 2019. In its new statement the Treaty Alliance Germany communicates its views on the provisions contained in the Revised Draft.

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UN Treaty - Side Event: Quo Vadis EU?

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The Revised Draft of the UN Treaty on business and human rights builds on international standards in the area like the UN Guiding Principles on Business or the Human Rights and General Comment 24 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights or. It reflects recent developments in Europe, like the French law on duty of vigilance, and initiatives for a national law on due diligence in Switzerland, Germany, Finland and Denmark. European institutions, UN bodies and other international organizations have repeatedly acknowledged the need for binding regulation to ensure business liability for human rights abuses and to improve access to justice for victims of corporate-related human rights abuses. As the various national initiatives increase the pressure for harmonization on EU level, the Finish (2019) and German (2020) presidency of the Council of the EU for have put an EU wide regulation on their agenda. In a joint side event on October 14, co-organized by members of the Treaty Alliance Germany and the EU Treaty Alliance, the links between current policies at EU and EU member state level and the proposals in the Revised Draft will be discussed.
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Pressemitteilung: Internationales Menschenrechtsabkommen - Bundesregierung muss sich zu Verhandlungen äußern

UNTreatyAm 14. Oktober beginnt in Genf die fünfte Verhandlungsrunde für ein UN-Abkommen zu Wirtschaft und Menschenrechten. Deutschland hat bereits angekündigt, sich an den aktuellen Verhandlungen nicht inhaltlich zu beteiligen. Aus diesem Grund fordert die Treaty Alliance Deutschland – ein breites Bündnis aus 27 zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen – die Bundesregierung und die EU auf, die Blockade zu beenden und tätig zu werden. Am heutigen „Tag der menschenwürdigen Arbeit“ rufen die Organisationen dazu auf, durch konstruktive Beteiligung an den Verhandlungen dafür zu sorgen, dass auf internationaler Ebene verbindliche Regeln zum Schutz von Menschenrechten und der Umwelt in globalen Produktionsverhältnissen geschaffen werden.

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Neues Arbeitspapier: Fehlende Regeln für die Zusammenarbeit mit der Wirtschaft sind großes Risiko für UN und Agenda 2030

Rules_of_Engagement_UN_Private_Actors_webGlobale Multi-Stakeholder-Partnerschaften und Initiativen zwischen öffentlichen und privaten Akteuren werden seit Jahren als die Zukunft der internationalen Zusammenarbeit betrachtet. Mit der Verabschiedung der Agenda 2030 und ihrer 17 Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung (SDGs) im September 2015 hat sich dieser Trend beschleunigt. Das vertiefte Engagement der UN mit der Wirtschaft beinhaltet jedoch zahlreiche Risiken. Viele UN-Sonderorganisationen, -Fonds und -Programme haben Prozesse zur Festlegung neuer Regeln für die Zusammenarbeit mit der Wirtschaft gestartet. Aber ein gemeinsamer und systemischer Ansatz, der zu einem umfassenden Rechtsrahmen für die Beziehungen zwischen der UN und dem Privatsektor führen soll, lässt auf sich warten. Wie ein neues Arbeitspapier von Global Policy Frorum, Brot für die Welt und MISEREOR zeigt, sind die bestehenden Leitlinien stark heterogen und werden nur hinreichend umgesetzt. Deutschland sollte sich daher zügig für einen wirksamen rechtlichen und institutionellen Rahmen bei der UN einsetzen.

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People’s Assembly parallel to the SDG Summit

Faces-of-Inequailty-launch-New-York-1280x672-1As Heads of State will meet on 24 and 25 September 2019 for the SDG Summit to review the progress of Agenda 2030, we are organizing a parallel People’s Assembly. The People’s Assembly will bring together people’s representatives and civil society from around the world to give  grassroots and marginalised people a voice. Most importantly, it will be a space for all to jointly analyse the structural reasons for the injustices, act and plan for common future actions to create systemic change to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. Civil society plays a key role in advocating and implementing much needed change and to work on the structural causes of poverty and inequalities. However, we are being threatened and civic space to work is dwindling. Civil Society must fight back together and reclaim our space.

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Stellungnahme der Treaty Alliance Deutschland zum neuen Entwurf für ein verbindliches UN-Abkommen zu Wirtschaft und Menschenrechten

Treaty_Alliance_Dtl._Revised_Draft_09-2019Auf Grundlage intensiver Konsultationen mit Regierungen, Wissenschaft und Zivilgesellschaft hat der ecuadorianische Vorsitzende Emilio Rafael Izquierdo Miño im Juli 2019 einen konsolidierten Entwurf eines UN-Abkommens zu Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte veröffentlicht („Revised Draft“). Während der fünften Tagung der UN-Arbeitsgruppe vom 14. bis 18. Oktober 2019 in Genf wird dieser die Grundlage für „substantielle Verhandlungen“ sein. Die Treaty Alliance Deutschland bezieht in einem neuen Positionspapier Stellung zum neuen Entwurf.

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Brussels Launch: Who’s paying the bill?

Programme0509_SDG_Shadow_ReportkFour years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda the world is off-track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to turn the transformational vision of the 2030 Agenda into real transformational policies, there needs to be a shift towards more coherent fiscal and regulatory policies. In addition, policy coherence for sustainable development requires to fully take into account the externalities and spill-over effects of European policies, production and consumption patterns. With an emphasis on environmental and social impact beyond our borders, the "Spotlight Report Sustainability in Europe. Who is paying the Bill?" will be presented in Brussels on September 11, 2019.

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Red carpet courts: 10 stories of how the rich and powerful hijacked justice

CEO_RedCarpetCourtsImagine an environmentally or socially destructive corporate project – say, a toxic mine, which could poison your local supply of water, or a luxury real estate project, which would displace hundreds of people in its neighbourhood. You and your community oppose the plans, the courts judge in your favour and the project is stopped. Seems like a community victory right? But then, the company behind the project sues your country for interfering with its profits, demanding millions or even billions in compensation, including for future profits. Actually, you do not need to imagine all this. It is the reality. The ISDS parallel justice system for big business is again and again used as a corporate weapon against the public interest. In a new report by Friends of the Earth Europe and International, the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), the organizations present 10 recent cases from around the world that show how the red carpet courts continue to thrive and reinforce injustice across the world.

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Citizens demand the EU stops stalling on a treaty to ensure that businesses respect human rights

GPF_Logo_4CkThis week saw the publication of the landmark revised draft of a UN treaty which aims to prevent human rights abuses by transnational corporations and other business enterprises, and close existing gaps in access to justice for victims. A coalition of 20 European civil society groups welcomes in its joint press release the publication of the revised draft UN Treaty on business and human rights and calls on the EU to conduct a thorough analysis of it. This is particularly important as the revised draft addresses many of the EU’s previous concerns, by building on the existing UN Principles on Business and Human Rights and defining which business activities should be covered. A new analysis should build the basis for a determined, proactive EU engagement in the upcoming 5th session, taking place in October 2019 in Geneva. The undersigned therefore urge the EU and its Member States to analyse the content of the revised draft and work in a transparent, inclusive process.

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Open Letter: World leaders must stop fuelling inequality

fight_inequalities_logoAs governments and global leaders gather in the coming months at several summits and meetings, from the UN High Level Political Forum in New York, to the G7 summit and the UN General Assembly, fighting inequality will once again be high on the agenda. But they are failing to deal with inequality crisis. This open letter is written by the growing global movement to fight inequality - to call out the failure of the current approach by governments and to set out a vision for radical change. Leadership is coming from people on the frontlines of inequality, not politicians. Governments and leaders must follow their calls to truly #fightinequality.

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Extractive Industries and Violation of Women’s Rights: Between partnerships and regulation – two diverging ways to tackle the problem at the UN

Briefing_0919_Extractive_Industries_Womens_RightsFrom October 14 to 18, 2019, the intergovernmental working group to elaborate a binding instrument to regulate transnational business enterprises and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG) will convene for the 5thtime in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The new briefing paper “Extractive Industries and Women’s Rights: Between partnerships and regulation – two diverging ways to tackle the problem at the UN”, published by AWID, DAWN, Global Policy Forum and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung presents how women are disproportionately affected by negative social and environmental impacts of extractive industries. The briefing also explains why a new partnership between UN Women and BHP Billiton, launched in June 2018, is very problematic. Similar to UN Women, other United Nations (UN) entities are trying to attract partnerships with the corporate sector. As the case of UN Women shows, potential risks and side-effects of such partnerships are often not properly addressed. These risks should also be considered in the preparation of the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women and the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration commemorative events in 2020. Corporate involvement in these events should only play a limited role.

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Save the Date: The IMF and Inequalities

IMF-STDThe IMF has now recognized economic and gender inequality as issues that are core to its mandate, and claims it is playing key role in helping countries achieve SDG 10. However, evidence from the country-level suggests that IMF policy advice and loan conditions may in fact be exacerbating inequalities on multiple levels and dimensions (social; political; economic; generational). The event co-hosted by SID, CESR, ANND, DAWN, FES, GPF, TWN and Social Watch on 17th October 2019 will debate the tensions between IMF-advised structural adjustments and the need for systemic changes in monetary and financial governance at the global level to ensure governments can have fiscal and policy space to tackle inequalities and finance the SDGs.

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New publication: Missing rules of engagement with business are major risk for the UN and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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On Wednesday, 25 September 2019, Heads of State and Government will meet at the United Nations (UN) headquarter in New York to discuss establishing further partnerships, in particular with the private sector, as a means of implementing the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Global multi-stakeholder partnerships between public and private actors, which move beyond traditional nation-state multilateralism, are now perceived as the future of international cooperation. The UN is already involved in hundreds of partnership initiatives with individual companies and business associations. “Rules of engagement between the UN and private actors", the new working paper by Brot für die Welt, Global Policy Forum and MISEREOR, demonstrates that with just the existing guidelines, which are weak and highly heterogeneous, effective and comprehensive rules for such cooperation are still missing. The non-regulated engagement between the UN and the private sector represents a major risk for the UN and for realising the SDGs.The UN needs to urgently develop an effective legal and institutional framework for its relations with the private sector.

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Neues Briefing: Nachhaltiges Europa?

Briefing_0919_Nachhaltiges_EuropaklDie EU-Kommission sieht die EU als Vorreiterin bei der Umsetzung der Agenda 2030 und nimmt in einem Refle­xionspapier vor allem andere Staaten in die Pflicht. Hier knüpft die Kritik von zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen an: Nach Verabschiedung der Agenda 2030 und der SDGs im Jahr 2015 habe die EU weder mit der konsequenten Umsetzung der SDGs auf EU-­Ebene begonnen noch eine eigene Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie entwickelt. Stattdessen trete die Kommission auf der Stelle, indem sie auch vier Jahre nach Verabschiedung der SDGs noch immer darüber ‚reflektiere’, wie diese in, mit und durch die EU umgesetzt werden könnten. Gleichzeitig verfol­ge die EU weiterhin nicht­ nachhaltige Politikkonzepte in wichtigen Bereichen wie der Landwirtschafts­- oder Han­delspolitik, die teilweise in direktem Widerspruch zur Ver­wirklichung der SDGs stünden.

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UN-Gipfel in New York: Schritte in die richtige Richtung?

Programm_UN-Gipfel_in_New_York_Schritte_in_die_richtige_RichtungAm 24. und 25. September 2019 treffen sich die Staats- und Regierungschefs in New York, um die Fortschritte bei der Umsetzung der Agenda 2030 zu diskutieren. Vor dem Hintergrund der Klimakrise oder der steigenden Zahl der Hungernden weltweit sind die Erwartungen an den Gipfel hoch. Ist es der Staatengemeinschaft gelungen, die notwendigen Schritte in Richtung nachhaltige Entwicklung einzuleiten? Was bedeutet das Ergebnis für die deutsche und europäische Politik? Und welche politischen Entscheidungen sind notwendig, um eine kohärente Umsetzung zu ermöglichen?

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Initiative Lieferkettengesetz: Gegen Gewinne ohne Gewissen

Lieferkettengesetz-Motiv_Allgemein_sRGBErschreckende Berichte über brennende Fabriken, ausbeuterische Kinderarbeit oder zerstörte Regenwälder zeigen immer wieder: Freiwillig kommen Unternehmen ihrer Verantwortung nicht ausreichend nach. In einer neuen Kampagne fordert daher das Global Policy Forum gemeinsam mit einem breiten Bündnis zivilgesellschaftlicher Organisationen ein deutsches Lieferkettengesetz. Unternehmen, die Schäden an Mensch und Umwelt in ihren Lieferketten verursachen oder in Kauf nehmen, müssen dafür haften. Skrupellose Geschäftspraktiken dürfen sich nicht länger lohnen.

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UN-Gipfel in New York – Reagiert die Politik auf Klimakrise und Armut?

elijah-o-donnell-t8T_yUgCKSM-unsplashklDie Zahl der Hungernden steigt wieder, die Ungleichheit zwischen Armen und Reichen wächst, Artenvielfalt schwindet und die Klimakrise ist allgegenwärtig. In dieser Situation kommen Staats- und Regierungschefs, darunter Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, im September zu einem Gipfel-Marathon in New York zusammen. Am 23. September lädt UN-Generalsekretär António Guterres zum Klimagipfel, direkt im Anschluss (24.-25.9.) findet der sogenannte „SDG-Gipfel“ zu den Zielen für nachhaltige Entwicklung statt. Am 26. September folgt eine Konferenz zur Finanzierung nachhaltiger Entwicklung. Bei unserem Pressebriefing wollen wir mit Ihnen über unsere Erwartungen an die Gipfel diskutieren.

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UN signs deal with Davos that threatens democratic principles

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Photo: UN Photo/Manuel Elias

A global corporate and government marriage took place mid June 2019 – and governments and citizens were not even invited as guests. The occasion was the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the corporate-led World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations. The nuptial agreement commits the two institutions to unprecedented levels of cooperation and coordination in the fields of education, women, financing, climate change, and health. At first glance, this agreement may sound entirely beneficial. Harris Gleckman, senior fellow at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Director of Benchmark Environmental Consulting warns in this article that the memorandum is not just about cooperation, but rather establishes an institutional home for multinational corporations inside the UN. There is no similar space in the UN system for civil society, for academics, for religious leaders, or for youth. In its strong advocacy for a “multistakeholder” approach to global governance which demotes the primacy of states to make global decisions, it also marks a fundamental challenge to a nation-state global governance system that - despite its flaws - has clear obligations, responsibilities and liabilities.

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Who is paying the bill? (Negative) impacts of EU policies and practices in the world

Who_is_paying_the_bill_2019_web_smallStudying EU policies thoroughly means studying policies of externalization. The thirteen chapters assembled in this publication constitute an impressive – impressively gloomy though – evidence for this assertion. Wherever you turn your eyes, whatever policy domain you may be concerned with: What at first glance may seem to be part of the European Union’s internal policies immediately turns out to be a story of externalities, a matter of spill-over effects transcending the borders of the European polity. And more often than not it is negative externalities that come into sight. Negative externalities that we should be talking about instead of obsessively trying to ignore them.

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Sustainable Development Needs a Hardware Update

logo-IPSWhen UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs in September 2015, they signaled with the title Transforming our World that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option and fundamental changes in politics and society are necessary. Four years later they have to admit that they are off-track to achieve the SDGs. The global civil society report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2019 shows that in many areas there is no progress at all, and in some even regression. In an op-ed published by IPS Inter Press Service, Jens Martens, executive director of Global Policy Forum and coordinator of the international Civil Society Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explains that a simple software update (of policies, norms and standards) is not enough – we have to revisit and reshape the hardware of sustainable development (i.e. governance and institutions at all levels).

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