8 PROPOSALS ON TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS (TNCs) AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, www.tni.org
June 2015, 7 pp
“…In conformity with the United Nations Charter, the future legally binding international instrument must reaffirm that international human rights laws are hierarchically superior to international trade and investment norms. The treaty must ensure that states develop, implement and comply with international human rights and environmental treaties, agreements and rules, and subordinate to them the international rules related to trade, investment, finance, taxation and
security. In particular, the legal principles linked to free trade and investment norms (
national treatment, most favorable nation etc.) must be subject to international human rights norms.
The treaty must obligate states to introduce a binding human rights supremacy clause into all trade and investment treaties that they sign, and to renegotiate existing agreements to this effect, or else to cancel them and refuse to sign any such agreements that do not explicitly recognize the supremacy of human rights obligations. States must be under the obligation to introduce into these treaties clauses concerning the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights, as well as the defense of essential public goods such as water, health, education, and public services as
well as the protection of public enterprises and cooperatives. The binding instrument must also establish obligations in relation to the consultation of peoples, social movements, affected communities and consumers, as well as provisions for a democratic and transparent development process.
The treaty must prohibit states from submitting an investor-state dispute to an international arbitration body under any circumstances, as this undermines states’ sovereignty, impairs their ability and duty to protect human rights and vitiates individual and peoples’ rights recognized under international human rights law…”
and from Susan George
Video: Power at stake – Susan George at TEDxGeneva, 19 min
31 July 2015
Susan George looks back at her four decades of scholarship to explain what led her to write her different books, how it formed her vision of power and the best ways to challenge the Davos class in order to deliver a more just world.
Quotes from Susan’s talk
“There is no such thing as neutrality in social sciences; we should take sides with the poor and the powerless”
“Study the rich and powerful not the poor and powerless: the poor already know what is wrong with their lives. If you really want to help you should give them a better idea of who is keeping them where they are”
“No amount of human suffering, in and of itself, is going to cause policy to change”
“I meet a lot of well-meaning people who genuinely want social and ecological justice, but seem to believe it is possible to have good ideas and good blueprints for policy and you are home free, but that has never been the truth. It is a huge mistake to forget that there are forces out there, adversaries out there who have no intention to allow anyone to do anything that affects their interests”
“Those blocking change are the 1%, the TNCs, Finance Markets, Politicians governing on their behalf – what I call the Davos Class. To do anything concrete we must deal with those adversaries.”
Key lists for change 1. Banks back under control 2. Close down tax havens and invest that money in services 3. Binding regulations for TNCs 4. Debt workouts
“I believe with a social system that is growing more stressed, I and you might be that unpredictable element that can provoke the system to break down and reconfigure in a way that could be more just and sustainable.”