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Open Letter to the Member States of the United Nations on Draft Zero Binding Treaty

Re: Publication of the “Zero Draft” text for the negotiation of a Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, the activities of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and other Business Enterprises. (1)

We welcome the recent publication of the “Zero Draft” text for the negotiation of a legally binding instrument on Transnational Corporations (TNCs) with regard to human rights in the framework of the process initiated by the Resolution 26/9 of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in June 2014. (2) This draft, whose publication was recommended by the President of the Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG) at the end of its Third Session, is an important signal of the vitality of this process.

The publication of this draft responds to the intensifying demands and mobilisation of civil society and to the increasing interest from parliamentarians globally (3) as well as of the Member States of the UN. We have always considered this a key factor in advancing the Treaty. The debate must now focus on the mechanisms and concrete proposals from the Member States and the communities affected by the operations of TNCs. It is important that the “Zero Draft” has been published almost four months ahead of the fourth session of the OEIGWG – complying with the recommendation of the Presidency of the OEIGWG and providing sufficient time for analysis of the text and further elaboration of concrete proposals.

The member organisations of the Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign), affirm our commitment to continue to follow this process closely. In anticipation of the fourth OEIGWG session in October 2018, we have already started to analyse the “Zero Draft” – taking as reference the Global Campaign’s proposed text which we presented in October 2017 (4) during the third Session of the OEIGWG, and the “Elements Document” which was presented by the Presidency in the weeks ahead of the third Session. (5)

It is important to underline as a preliminary reflection, ahead of a more juridical-technical review, that this “Zero Draft” unlike the “Elements Document” presented by the Presidency of the OEIGWG in 2017, doesn’t include many of the proposals formulated during the previous three sessions. We are concerned by this lack of continuity in the advances achieved through much dialogue and effort and three years of intense work. We hope discussion on these points will be re-introduced in the fourth OEIGWG session.

We affirm our commitment to action and mobilisation in all regions of the world until the successful conclusion of the Mandate of Resolution 29/6, which needs to concretise binding regulations and effective mechanisms of implementation at the international level which correspond to the demands for access to justice for our peoples affected by the operations of TNCs. We consider that this process offers a historic opportunity to offer solid mechanisms to protect and provide remedy to those affected by the operations of TNCs, to avoid future violations and to sanction those TNCs implicated in the violations of human rights.

We likewise urge all the member states of the UN to actively participate in the negotiation of the Treaty text, contributing constructively with opinions, proposals and concrete formulations towards the successful conclusion of the negotiations in the framework of Resolution 26/9.

We announce that the Global Campaign will be present again in Geneva during the fourth session of the OEIGWG from October 15 to 19, 2018 where both inside and outside the Palais de Nations of the UN, we will reclaim the peoples′ rights over investors and over the profits and impunity of TNCs. (6)


  1. Link to the “Zero Draft” :
  2. According to the provisions of Resolution 26/9 of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
  3. Global interparliamentary and municipal representatives network supporting the establishment of a Binding Treaty on Transnational Corporations with respect to Human Rights:
  4. Treaty on Transnational Corporations and Their Supply Chains with Regard to Human Rights:
  5. “Elements′ document” of the third session :
  6. Program of the week of mobilization of the Global Campaign:

18 Aug, 2018
Posted in Defending Rights, Petitions and statements