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Regulating corporate power for a better tomorrow

Civil society organizations from across the world publish a statement urging member states from the UN Human Rights Council to continue negotiations towards a UN Treaty on Transnational corporations and human rights.

With lockdown measures slowing down key policy-processes and consultations around the world, more than 180 civil society organizations from the worldwide Treaty Alliance have joined forces once again underlining that the need for regulating the activities of corporations and other business enterprises is more evident than ever.

“The scale of corporate control over government is an endemic source of pathogenesis, whose inefficiency has finally been brought to the fore as a point of non-return by the COVID-19 global outbreak, in favor of a societal quest for reclaiming the responsibility of public services. But we are not there yet,” says the statement.

According to recent reports, a number of companies have seized upon the opportunities presented by the pandemic for the own benefit. As a result, some companies have increased profits, while escalating human rights violations. This has been particularly the case of food workers and local and traditional communities residing in “profitable” lands. 

“Some witnesses from different communities in our movement have reported that companies engaged in extractive projects abuse lockdowns to skip informed consent provisions.  Others have explained how middle men are taking advantage of the health crisis to pay small food producers less while increasing prices in the cities, with the excuse of the lockdown,” the statement highlights. 

The organizations behind the statement conclude by saying that there is no way we could meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda without a legally binding instrument to regulate corporate power.

“It is the concrete step we need in order to move in the direction of justice, rule of law and true sustainability for all; the best vaccine to prevent pandemics like the current one,” says the statement.

You can access the statement here.
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