Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights

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Mandate

At its 26th session, on 26 June 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 26/9 by which it decided “to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, whose mandate shall be to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.”

The open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) has had five sessions so far.  Ahead of the fifth session, the Permanent Mission of Ecuador, on behalf of the Chairmanship of the OEIGWG, released a revised draft legally binding instrument on business activities and human rights. The revised draft served as the basis for direct substantive intergovernmental negotiations during the fifth session of the OEIGWG, which was held from 14 to 18 October 2019, in Geneva. The report of the fifth session is available here.

Please note the updated information about upcoming intersessional consultations:

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights presents its compliments to all Permanent and Observers Missions to the United Nations Office in Geneva, specialized agencies, other intergovernmental organizations, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations and has the honour to inform of the following:

  • At the final meeting of its fifth session, the Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG) took note with appreciation of the recommendations of the Chair-Rapporteur and looked forward to the second revised draft legally binding instrument, the informal consultations, and the updated programme of work for its sixth session, which will be held from 26 to 30 October 2020, as a follow up to the implementation of the mandate of HRC resolution 26/9.

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and communication earlier this week by UNOG conference services about the impossibility to hold in-person meetings until at least end of May 2020, the first consultation, which was due to take place on Wednesday, 29 April 2020, 15:00-17:00, in Room V of the Palais des Nations, has been postponed. The second open informal consultation, which will now be the first consultation, planned on Friday, 29 May 2020, 10:00-12:00, took place online.

  • Following this first virtual consultation on 29 May, a second consultation was to take place on Friday 12th June from 10 to 12 CET, but has been postponed until Thursday 25th June, from 3 to 5pm CET.
    The postponement is due to the unforeseen recent announcement of two meetings which would have overlapped with the second virtual informal open consultation, namely an Informal briefing to all Member States convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, on the Secretary General’s Proposed programme plan for 2021, Section 24, Programme 20, Human Rights (budget), and the Organizational meeting on the 44th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council.

  • This series of consultations will be a complement to the discussions held during the fifth session of the OEIGWG; the two annexes of the report of the fifth session containing respectively a compilation of written statements and a compilation of the concrete textual suggestions presented by States during the fifth session; the additional textual suggestions on the draft legally binding instrument received until the end of February 2020, in accordance with the Chair-Rapporteur's recommendation 101 (a)–(c); and the ongoing bilateral consultations and other related activities undertaken by the Chairmanship in preparation of the sixth session of the OEIGWG.

  • The two annexes mentioned above, can been found on the website of the OEIGWG at: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/WGTransCorp/Session5/Pages/Session5.aspx.

  • The agenda for the upcoming intersessional open consultations on the revised draft LBI on TNCs and OBEs with respect to Human Rights is now available.

  • The participation of other relevant stakeholders in the series of consultations mentioned above will follow the procedure of the previous sessions of the OEIGWG, without prejudice to any additional information to be posted on the website of the Working Group.

  • The following link should be used to register to participate in the virtual informal open consultation to be held on Thursday 25th June from 15:00 to 17:00 CET.
    https://indico.un.org/event/34530/

  • All representatives wishing to participate in this virtual meeting need to register via this link. The registration will remain open until 18:00 CET on Wednesday 24th June in order to allow the Secretariat to process registrations. A link to join the virtual meeting will be subsequently sent to those that registered through the system. Please note that the link is unique to each registered participant and cannot be shared. The link will be sent few hours before the start of the meeting.

  • Participants are kindly asked to click on the link and join the meeting at 14:55 so that the meeting can start on time;

  • The Chair-Rapporteur will open the meeting at 15.00.

  • Modalities for inscription in the list of speakers will be given at the start of the meeting.

  • States, specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations, national human rights institutions, and non-governmental organizations (with ECOSOC status) will be allowed to ask for the floor (by pressing the “raise hand” button) and intervene, in that order.

  • Since the meeting time is limited, States, NGOs and other stakeholders are kindly asked to keep their interventions short and focused on comments and proposals on the specific articles of the respective agenda, refraining from long statements or questions that have already been asked previously.

  • States, NGOs and other stakeholders are kindly requested to coordinate among themselves so that only one person takes the floor per delegation.

  • For further enquiries, please send a message to igwg-tncs@ohchr.org.

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