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Tuesday, November 27 • 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Update on the process to elaborate a legally binding instrument

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Interpretation is provided in English and Spanish.

Organized by the Permanent Mission of Ecuador

Short description of the session:
The turning point of the process of the elaboration of a treaty on business and human rights pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 26/9, was unequivocally the release of a victims-oriented draft legally binding instrument (Zero Draft) in July 20th, prepared by the Chairmanship of the OEIGWG, and complemented by a draft optional protocol to that draft treaty, following the recommendations of the Third Session of the OEIGWG and on the basis of the discussions of the three first sessions of the Working Group, the inputs provided by States and other relevant stakeholders during the large number of bilateral and multilateral consultations held during the intersessional periods and the insights provided by several experts from different regions and profiles, in accordance with operative paragraph 6 of HRC Resolution 26/9.
The Fourth Session of the OEIGWG held only a few weeks ago (15 to 19 October 2018), which included the participation of 95 States, more than 400 representatives of other relevant stakeholders, members of national and regional parliaments and 30 experts from all over the world, witnessed the first reading of the draft legally binding instrument with a clear substantive engagement from an important number of participants, through their proposals, comments, suggestions and questions in relation to the different provisions of the draft treaty. Nevertheless, as part of the efforts to achieve the widest possible participation and engagement in this process, the Chairmanship of the OEIGWG is organizing this parallel session with a view to provide an update on the results of the Fourth Session, including in the light of the recommendations of the Chair-Rapporteur and the conclusions of the Working Group adopted at the end of that session.
 
Session objectives: 
Taking into account the background of the overall process of the legally binding instrument on business and human rights, and the recommendations and conclusions of the Fourth Session of the Working Group mentioned above, the main objective of the parallel session organized by the Chairmanship of the OEIGWG is to share with all the interested participants of the 2018 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights the most updated information and assessment of the process towards the elaboration of a legally binding instrument on business and human rights, in light of the results of the Fourth Session and its positive impact to the full implementation of the mandate of HRC Resolution 26/9.

Format of the session: 
The session will be open to States and other relevant stakeholders and will be held in English. It will consist of presentations by invited panelists, followed by an interactive dialogue.

Background: 
The Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights was established by the Human Rights Council Resolution 26/9 of June 2014, with the concrete mandate “to elaborate an international legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to Human Rights”. Pursuant to this mandate, since 2015 the OEIGWG has held four annual sessions, which have enjoyed the participation of a growing number of States and representatives from intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, academia, private sector and trade unions, among other participants, in a comprehensive, transparent and inclusive manner.
During these years, in spite of the remaining different views and proposals with respect of several substantive elements of the discussion as well as on process, there has been an undeniable progress in the recognition of the usefulness of legally binding norms and standards for the effective protection and prevention against corporate-related human rights violations or abuses, and the enhancement of the access to justice and remedy for the victims of such abuses or violations. The process has also served to demonstrate the mutual complementarity between the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the elaboration of a legally binding treaty.
The Fourth Session concluded with the adoption of the recommendations of the Chair-Rapporteur and the conclusions of the Working Group, which included inter alia, the invitation to States and other relevant stakeholders to submit comments and proposals on the draft legally binding instrument by the end of February 2019, and the request to the Chair-Rapporteur to prepare a revised draft by the end of June 2019, to serve as the basis for direct substantive intergovernmental negotiations during the Fifth Session of the OEIGWG.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
WS

Walter Schuldt

Counselor, Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva

Speakers
avatar for Natalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder

Natalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder

Group Director, IISD
Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, LL.M, is a senior international lawyer and heads the Economic Law & Policy programme of the International Institute on Sustainable Development (IISD).In this role, she works with developing country governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America... Read More →
AD

Alejandro Dávalos

Chargé d´Affairs of the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations in Geneva, on behalf of the Chairmanship of the OEIGWG Res.26/9
avatar for Elżbieta Karska

Elżbieta Karska

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Ms. Elżbieta Karska is a Professor and the Head of the Department of Protection of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the Director of the Institute of International Law, European Union and International Relations at the Faculty of Law and Administration, Cardinal... Read More →
avatar for Robert McCorquodale

Robert McCorquodale

Professor, Inclusive Law
Independent advisor, experienced academic and practitioner, and expert trainer on business and human rights to companies, NGOs, governments, industry associations, and international organizations.
avatar for Gabriela Quijano

Gabriela Quijano

Legal Adviser, Business and Human Rights, Amnesty International - International Secretariat
SR

Sandra Ratjen

Franciscans International
MS

Mlulami Singapi

Permanent Mission of South Africa


Tuesday November 27, 2018 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Room XVII