Civil society calls for Private Sector regulation thru Human Rights laws

Tetet Lauron, Co-chair of CPDE, delivered a strong statement on the lack of Private Sector accountability in the Opening Session of the 2nd Busan Global Partnership Forum last November 23.

“We highlight the importance for states and other actors to engage in a process that can lead to an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises,” Lauron says.

The impact of the private sector in effective development is one of the three themes of the Forum. It was attended by members and leaders of the Global Partnership.

According to Lauron, the private sector consists of a wide body of actors with differing needs and agenda. Each of them play a role in ensuring development cooperation. Yet some fall short from the cause as they have pursued projects without considering the impact on host communities.

Just last November 12, social movements and grassroots organisations of small-scale food producers in Asia convened in a workshop in Quezon City, Philippines discussing the impact of public-private partnership in the agriculture industry.

A number of governments have been drawing flak from affected communities and civil society organisations for rendering transnational corporations practically invincible through binding agreements on projects detrimental to its constituents.

Lauron says, “Governments bear the primary responsibility for implementing internationally recognised guidelines and principles concerning business behavior.”

The forum poses a challenge to all the states and other actors to engage in a process that can lean towards an international regulation of the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises all in the name of human rights.

CPDE reiterated that development co-operation should be focused on reducing poverty, inequality and supporting sustainable development in a social, economic and environmental perspective.

Lauron believes that GPEDC can play a crucial role in helping to achieve these objectives by supporting the private sector in complying with and internalising development effectiveness principles and internationally agreed conventions on human rights, including women’s rights, disabilities and labor.

Aside from the private sector, two other themes in the forum include the discussion of GPEDC’s role in the post-2015 development framework and development effectiveness in fragile states.

Read Tetet Lauron’s full speech here.

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