WASHINGTON – After seven years of largely ignoring and opposing the open-ended intergovernmental working group (IGWG) on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, the United States is preparing to attend the 8th annual session of the IGWG next week. Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) urged the Biden administration to engage in the 8th annual negotiation of the UN IGWG on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights.
Following years of the U.S. government’s opposition to the IGWG process, Rep. Grijalva urged the administration to reverse course and to foster greater alignment between its policy positions on business and human rights and the challenges facing “fenceline communities”, including Black communities in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” and Indigenous peoples who have been harmed through environmentally destructive actions of transnational corporations.
“Now there is a clear opportunity before us to better align our policy at the international level with the calls for action by fenceline communities,” wrote Rep. Grijalva. “In particular, the State Department must negotiate actively and constructively in the proceedings to ensure the draft text of the binding legal instrument contains robust prevention, due diligence and accountability measures which can support fenceline communities to ensure corporations are held liable for the harms they cause… The U.S. should join the growing international consensus to engage in this process to develop a binding international instrument to hold corporations accountable for violations of human rights”.
The full letter can be found here.