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A new "child friendliness" index praises such countries as Namibia and Lesotho — and "names and shames" poor performers.
          Pioneering pattern recognition      Cache   Translate Page      

Dec. 4, 2018 

University Distinguished Professor Anil Jain named Fellow by The World Academy of Sciences 

Anil Jain of Michigan State University has been named a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for a lifetime of perspectives and publications that have inspired students and researchers worldwide. He was one of 46 new fellows elected at the 28th TWAS general meeting in Trieste, Italy, Nov. 27-29.University Distinguished Professor Anil Jain has been named a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences for inspiring students and researchers worldwide. 

A University Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Jain is being honored for his pioneering contributions to pattern recognition resulting in novel solutions for a rapidly evolving biometrics industry. 

TWAS was founded 35 years ago to increase representation by women and researchers from the world's science- and technology-lagging countries. Jain said it is not typical to have a person from a developed nation be elected a fellow by the worldwide organization. 

Jain was nominated for the honor by Tieniu Tan of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), where he is a professor of computer vision and pattern recognition, CAS deputy secretary-general and director general of the CAS Bureau of International Cooperation. 

Tan called Jain an internationally renowned scholar and educator. “For the past 40 years, he has actively promoted the research topics of pattern recognition, computer vision and biometrics in developing nations through lectures, exchange programs, technical assistance and student and postdoc training. 

“Very few people get elected every year from North America,” he added. “He most certainly deserves the recognition.” 

Co-nominator Sankar Pal, distinguished scientist and former director of the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, India, said Jain’s high quality pioneering research has had an enormous impact on statistical pattern recognition and computer vision. 

“It is evident from a Google scholar h-index of 179, with total citation 185,000,” Pal said. “His IEEE-PAMI publications have made him a role model scientist to many of us and to young researchers in machine learning. All these extra-ordinary achievements made his election to TWAS Foreign Fellowship successful. I am happy to be a part of this endeavor.”

Jain is known around the world for his expertise in biometric recognition, computer vision, and fingerprint-matching technology.

“It has been my honor to work on projects in countries including India, China, and Indonesia," Jain said. “I advised the world’s largest biometrics project, Aadhaar, in India that has enrolled more than 1 billion residents utilizing fingerprints and iris images for de-duplication in India’s social welfare system.” 

Jain also worked on a prototype fingerprint system to recognize infants and toddlers for vaccination tracking in Benin and India. The World Food Program is utilizing the prototype child ID system in field trials in Somalia in an effort to eliminate fraud in food distribution to children.

Anil Jain advised the world's largest biometrics project, Aadhaar, in India that has enrolled more than 1 billion residents utilizing fingerprints and iris images for India's medical system.

He holds one of 17 inaugural appointments to the U.S. Forensic Science Standards Board, a newly developed organization dedicated to identifying and fostering standards and guidelines for the nation’s forensic science community. 

Jain has previously served as a member of the Defense Science Board and the National Academies panels on Whither Biometrics and Improvised Explosive Devices. 

His list of honors is extensive. In 2016, he was elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering (among engineering’s highest honors) and as a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. In 2015, he was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

Jain is also a fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Association of Computing Machinery (ACM); American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); International Society for Optics and Photonics Society (SPIE); and International Association of Pattern Recognition (IAPR).

He is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Humboldt Research Award, Fulbright Scholarship, King-Sun Fu Prize, and W. Wallace McDowell Award. 

Jain is regularly invited to speak at national and internal forums, including the Third Annual ID4AFRICA Conference in Namibia in 2017; the 103rd Indian Science Congress, Information & Communication Science and Technology in India in 2016; the Royal Society meeting on United Kingdom forensics in London, 2015, and the keynote address at the Microsoft Computing in the 21st Century Conference in Beijing, 2014.

TWAS
TWAS is a global science academy based in Trieste, Italy. It was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists from the developing world who shared a belief that building strength in science and engineering could build the knowledge and skill to address the challenges of hunger, disease and poverty. 

The newest 46 fellows increase the academy's total to 1,267 Fellows from 104 countries – the most countries represented since TWAS’s creation. The academy elected its first fellows ever from Bolivia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Libya, Nicaragua, and Zambia. In addition, members were elected from Iraq, Sudan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Thirteen of the new fellows are women, who now account for 13 percent of the total membership.


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          7-Flora Sapio on the Zero Draft of a Legally Binding Instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprise (Article 11 Mutual Legal Assistance)       Cache   Translate Page      

(Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2018; Musée Ariana, porcelain figures Meissen 1725-1730 )

Flora Sapio (Comments on the "Zero-Draft"), and I (Making Sausages?: Preliminary Thoughts on the "Zero-Draft") have been considering the challenges posed by the Zero Draft.  But we wanted to dig deeper.  To that end we wanted to avoid the altogether too easy exercise of textual exegesis to suggest the challenges that this draft might construct for itself.

Rather than consider text, or text in light of the various mandates and principles purportedly manifested in the language used to build the Zero Draft, we thought it might be useful to consider text within the context of the initial commentary it might generate among Zero Draft stakeholders motivated enough to make them. These, then, might usefully inform the reading of text, and sharpen analysis of its structure and consequences. 

To that end, and in this and subsequent posts, Flora Sapio  presents summaries of discussions on each article of the Zero Draft, based on the written submissions available on the website of the OEIGWG.  These, then, will be woven together first to develop both a critique of the Zero Draft, and thereafter to suggest the value of an alternative, framework, model for such a project.

This Part 7 focuses on Article 11 of the Zero Draft (Mutual Legal Assistance). 


 


Summaries of discussions on each article of the Zero Draft, based on the written submissions available on the website of the OEIGWG
Article 11 (Mutual Legal Assistance)
Flora Sapio 


On 14 July 2014, the Human Rights Council created an Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG) on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG). According to Resolution 26/9, the Working Group has the mandate to: “elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.”

By “Other business enterprises” the Human Rights Council referred to all business enterprises having a transnational character in their operational activities. This designation does not apply to local businesses.

In establishing the OEIGWG, the Human Rights Council also decided that the first two sessions of the OEIGWG would be dedicated to conducting constructive deliberations on the content, scope, nature, and form of the future Treaty. Following deliberations, the Chairperson would prepare elements for the draft Treaty. Substantive negotiations on the Treaty would be held during the third session of the Working Group, based on the discussions held during the first two sessions.

The OEIGWG held its first session from 6 to 10 July 2015. A second session took place from 24 to 28 October 2016. Based on discussions held during the first two sessions, a third session was convened from 23 to 27 October 2017. During this session, the elements for the draft Treaty were discussed. Also, the OEIGWG requested the Chair-Rapporteur to complement the ongoing bilateral consultations with states and non-state stakeholders with informal consultations.

Following the third session, a Zero Draft of a Legally Binding Instrument (LBI) on Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and Other Business Enterprises (OBEs) was prepared by Ecuador. In July 2018 the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of India released the draft for public comments.

The Zero Draft of the Legally Binding Instrument (and a zero draft of an optional protocol to the binding instrument) formed the basis for a first round of substantive negotiations, held in Geneva from 15 to 19 October 2018. According to the program of work adopted by the OEIGWG, substantive negotiations saw experts, representatives of national states, transnational organizations, and NGOs comment on the Zero Draft.

In this and in following posts, I will be presenting summaries of discussions on each article of the Zero Draft, based on the written submissions available on the website of the OEIGWG.


Article 1 – summary of discussions - Thursday 18 October 2018
Article 2 – summary of discussions - Monday 15 October 2018
Article 3 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 4 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 5 – summary of discussions - Thursday 18 October 2018
Article 6 – summary of discussions - Tuesday 16 October 2018
Article 7 – summary of discussions - Tuesday 16 October 2018
Article 8 – summary of discussions - Monday 15 October 2018
Article 9 – summary of discussions - Tuesday 16 October 2018
Article 10 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 11 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 12 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 13 – summary of discussions - Tuesday 16 October 2018
Article 14 – summary of discussions - Thursday 18 October 2018
Article 15 – summary of discussions - Thursday 18 October 2018

Article 11 (Mutual Legal Assistance)
 
1. States Parties shall cooperate in good faith to enable the implementation of commitments under this Convention and the fulfillment of the purposes of this Convention.

2. States Parties shall afford one another the widest measure of mutual legal assistance in initiating and carrying out investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings in relation to the cases covered by this Convention, including access to information and supply of all evidence at their disposal and necessary for the proceedings in order to allow effective, prompt, thorough and impartial investigations covered under this Convention. The requested Party shall inform the requesting Party, as soon as possible, of any additional information or documents needed to support the request for assistance and, where requested, of the status and outcome of the request for assistance. The requesting State Party may require that the requested State Party keep confidential the fact and substance of the request, except to the extent necessary to execute the request.

3. Mutual legal assistance under this Convention is understood to include, but is not limited to:

a. Taking evidence or statements from persons;
b. Effecting service of judicial documents;
c. Executing searches and seizures;
d. Examining objects and sites;
e. Providing information, evidentiary items and expert evaluations;
f. Providing originals or certified copies of relevant documents and records, including government, bank, financial, corporate or business records;
g. Identifying or tracing proceeds of crime, property, instrumentalities or other things for evidentiary purposes;
h. Facilitating the voluntary appearance of persons in the requesting State Party;
i. Facilitating the freezing and recovery of assets;
j. Assistance to, and protection of, victims, their families, representatives and witnesses, consistent with international human rights legal standards and subject to international legal requirements including those relating to the prohibition of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
k. Assistance in regard to application and interpretation of human rights law;
l. Any other type of assistance that is not contrary to the domestic law of the requested State Party.

4. Without prejudice to domestic law, the competent authorities of a State Party may, without prior request, transmit information relating to criminal matters covered under this Convention to a competent authority in another State Party where they believe that such information could assist the authority in undertaking or successfully concluding inquiries and criminal proceedings or could result in a request formulated by the latter State Party pursuant to this Convention. The transmission of information shall be without prejudice to inquiries and criminal proceedings in the State of the competent authorities providing the information.

5. States Parties shall consider concluding bilateral or multilateral agreements or arrangements whereby, in relation to matters that are subject of investigations, prosecutions or judicial proceedings under this Convention, the competent authorities concerned may establish joint investigative bodies. In the absence of such agreements or arrangements, joint investigations may be undertaken by agreement on a case-by-case basis. The States Parties involved shall ensure that the sovereignty of the State Party in whose territory such investigation is to take place, is fully respected.

6. States Parties shall carry out their obligations under the previous Article in conformity with any treaties or other arrangements on mutual legal assistance that may exist between them. In the absence of such treaties or arrangements, States Parties shall afford one another assistance in a way not contrary to domestic law.

7. In accordance with domestic systems, each State Party shall designate a central authority that shall have the responsibility and power to receive requests for mutual legal assistance and either to execute them or to transmit them to the competent authorities for execution.

8. State Parties shall provide judicial assistance and other forms of cooperation in the pursuit of access to remedy for victims of human rights violations covered under this Convention.

9. Any judgement of a court having jurisdiction in accordance with this Convention which is enforceable in the State of origin of the judgement and is no longer subject to ordinary forms of review shall be recognized and enforced in any Party as soon as the formalities required in that Party have been completed, whereby formalities should not be more onerous and fees and charges should not be higher than those required for the enforcement of domestic judgments and shall not permit the re-opening of the merits of the case.

10. Recognition and enforcement may be refused, at the request of the defendant, only if that party furnishes to the competent authority where the recognition and enforcement is sought, proof that (a) the defendant was not given reasonable notice and a fair opportunity to present his or her case; (b) where the judgement is irreconcilable with an earlier judgement validly pronounced in another Party with regard to the same cause of action and the same parties; or (c) where the judgement is contrary to the public policy of the Party in which its recognition is sought.

11. Mutual legal assistance under this article may be refused by a State Party if the violation to which the request relates is not covered by this Convention or if it would be contrary to the legal system of the requested State Party.

12. A Party shall not decline to render mutual legal assistance for criminal matters within the scope of this Convention on the ground of bank secrecy.


Article 11 of the Legally Binding Instrument on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises was scheduled for discussion on 17 October 2018, from 10  AM to 13 PM, together with articles 10 (Legal Liability) and 12 (International Cooperation).

Written comments specific to Article 11 were submitted by:

  • 1 expert
  • 8 states (China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Mexico, Namibia, Peru, Russian Federation)
  • 2 NGOs


Comments by Experts

Surya Deva, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights: mutual legal assistance among states is critical to provide access to effective remedy, especially in transnational cases. The June 2017 report of the Working Group found makes a series of recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of cross-border cooperation between States with respect to law enforcement on the issue of business and human rights.
The text of Article 11 should be based on existing frameworks and good practices that have proved to be workable. For example, if multiple courts having jurisdiction over certain business-related human rights abuses give conflicting judgments, it is unclear how Article 11(9) would deal with recognition and enforcement of such judgments.

Written comments by Maddalena Neglia, FIDH, are not available on the OHCHR website.

Comments by States

China: we note this article adopts a general approach based on existing international treaties and national practices. We will make recommendations when we discuss specific wording in the future. At present one problem is mutual legal assistance in criminal cases, at least when the request involves mandatory measures. The precondition is dual criminality, that is the relevant act must constitute a crime both in the requesting party and the requested party. We suggest considering adding this provision.

Costa Rica: the right to prompt justice and to compensation is a basic principle of the doctrine of human rights. The guarantee of this right is essential in situations that require the search of resources in foreign courts. National courts face the challenges of having to make judgments according to the legal principles of foreign jurisdictions, differences in ruling between countries, the gathering of evidence and witnesses abroad, and legal uncertainty for companies and victims. In this regard, Costa Rica respectfully asks what technical instances are foreseen in this Instrument to address these challenges? In Costa Rica, administrative bodies in charge of protecting and supervising human rights in labor law do not have the legal power to share data, since data is confidential and known only to the parties. The exchange of such information is governed by the principles of legality contained in the Political Constitution and in the General Law of Public Administration.

Egypt: Article 11.11 requires states to include provisions on universal jurisdiction in their legislation. This will have the effect of admending the domestic legislation of states if there is a controversy over the application of the terms at the international level.

Article 11.12 may contravene national laws on bank secrecy.

India: we believe both Articles 10 and 11 need more clarity as certain elements have the potential to infringe upon the sovereignty of states. We believe terms like ‘universal jurisdiction’ need more clarity. We are also the view that additional grounds for refusal of legal assistance which are already provided in the United Nations Conventions against Corruption and Transnational Organized Crimes should also be part of this article as they factor in the sovereign rights of states.

Mexico: our delegation is worried about Article 11.3(k), because it leaves to the discretion of states the interpretation of the content and scope of human rights, which would be contrary to international law and would result in the relativization of the norms of human rights and legal insecurity. Article 11.3(k) could be reformulated by eliminating the reference to the interpretation of international law of human rights, and including a reference to domestic legislation: “assistance in regard to the application of domestic law.”

With reference to Article 11.6 we think it is important to include the concept of international law, and draft the article as “State Parties shall afford one another assistance in a way not contrary to domestic [and international] law.”
Namibia: articles 11 & 12 are clear and is clearly based on other international instruments, which provides for MLA and International Cooperation, and which have been implemented with great successes.

Peru: we understand that providing reparation to victims for abuses that take place in more than one jurisdiction requires a complex legal scaffolding that requires mutual legal assistance. However, the provision of the current article detail a series of cooperation responsibilities for states, that would entail enormous efforts for their application. Once again, the burden would be excessive for developing countries.

Russian Federation: with regard to article 11, in our opinion, the obligation of states provided in its paragraph 2 to provide each other with legal assistance, including access to information and evidence, does not correlate with the obligation to ensure the procedural rights of those in respect of whom such actions are taken. As a result, the struggle for the rights of some may end up violating the rights of others.

Comments by NGOs

International Association of Democratic Lawyers: mutual legal assistance should not be totally dependent on future agreement between states. More restrictive criteria for the possibility of alleging forum non conveniens should be present.

Thank you Mr. Chair,
I speak on behalf of the Brazilian AIDS Interdisciplinary Association. We coordinate a group of 17 NGOs in Brazil working to remove patent barriers to the access to health. We are also part of the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, which comprises more than 600 organizations, movements and networks, at national, regional and global levels.
Currently in the world, billions of people don’t have access to life saving treatment, because of high medicines prices. Pharmaceutical companies charge those prices because they have patent monopolies over those drugs. The result is that State cannot implement public health policies, consumers cannot purchase the medicines in private pharmacies. The pharmaceutical companies – US and EU-based – and their CEOs have left people to die in name of profits and in name of greed. Therefore, it is fundamental that the binding instrument regulates the obligations of TNCs in respect to human rights, as clearly state in the resolution 26/9.
In this sense, the obligations of states and TNCs must be addressed in separate topics. We suggest that the following phrases are included: (a) TNCs are liable civilly, administratively and criminally for all obligations listed in this Convention that are; (b) States Parties must establish administrative, civil and criminal liability for TNCs and their managers. It must not matter if States and TNCs operate as perpetrators or accomplices of violations. We believe the Convention must make clearer the relation between the main company and its subsidiaries, licensees, subcontractors and so forth. In addition, States parties must provide for sanctions, including the dissolution of the TNC, and oblige the TNC to pay the fees.
We also suggest to exclude the references to “domestic law”, since some states do not have provisions of such kind and it may put in jeopardy the scope of this Convention.
 Thank Mr. Chairperson

International Association of Democratic Lawyers:

En lo que se refiere al Artículo 11, para mejor provisión de la asistencia legal mutua, ésta no debe estar totalmente condicionada a los acuerdos interestatales futuros, así como deben estar presentes criterios más restrictivos para la posibilidad de alegación del forum non conveniens.



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Namibia: Health Ministry Gets 600 Hepatitis E Rapid Test Kits From U.S. Embassy  AllAfrica.com

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Namibia, Angola Oil Deal Aborted
Southern Times
Dec 03, 2018
By Timo Shihepo

Windhoek - At a time when Namibian motorists are dreading fuel price increases every month, the Namibian government has revealed that the proposed talks to import crude oil from Angola have broken down with no resumption insight.

In 2013, the then Namibia minister of mines and energy, Isak Katali led a delegation to Angola to hold talks with the Angolan delegation led by the then minister of petroleum, Jose de Vasconcelos with the interest of buying crude oil from Angola.

The talks were also extended to oil refining, the construction of a storage terminal and negotiations on a memorandum of understanding. In an effort to speed up the process, Vasconcelos, at the time, advocated for a close cooperation between the national oil companies, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia and Sonangol of Angola.

However, five years later, not only that deal died in its infant stage but there are also no indications that talks will resume sooner or later. “There was never a Namibia-Angola deal. There were discussions with Angola to buy Angolan crude oil and have it refined somewhere. It did not materialize. There is nothing being discussed currently,” Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, told The Southern Times this week.

As a result, Namibia continues to spend about R750 million per month on importing fuel into the country. Importation of fuel is done by the private sector companies, namely Engen, Total, Shell and Puma. Namibia’s fuel is imported all over the world, but mostly from Singapore.

It is news that is not music to the motorists’ ears, who have been enduring torrid times with fuel price increases almost every month since the beginning of the year. In February, a litre of unleaded petrol used to cost R11.70 but it is now costing R14.37 per litre. Diesel used to cost R11.73 per litre in February but it now costs R14.96 per litre. Namibia’s petrol prices are very high to the end consumer because of the levies and taxes added onto the normal price.  When a customer is fuelling at a service station, 55% goes to the cost of fuel at which it was bought, including the prescribed industry margin of R1.00; while 45% goes to various levies and taxes.

In February 2018, government increased tax on fuel. It said this was necessary to generate additional revenue for the state.

“The challenge is that Government has no control over the international fuel prices. Do we expect the petrol prices to normalise by next year? This will depend on what happens to the international crude oil price,” said Alweendo.

Although fuel prices have been increasing for the past several months, the energy ministry said it has not been passing on the full increases to the consumers. Over the past months, it says, over R470 million has been spent from the National Energy Fund to fund the fuel price increases.

It said the price increases have been caused by the global price per barrel of refined oil and the exchange rate between the Namibian Dollar against the US dollar. Another factor affecting the fuel prices is also the current shortage in the global market after Iran’s supply was reduced by the sanctions imposed by the US.

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Namibia’s Energy Ministry Condemns Illegal Importation, Sale of Angolan Fuel
Southern Times
December 5, 2018
Sharon Kavhu

Windhoek - Ministry of Mines and Energy has condemned the illegal importation and selling of Angolan fuel in Namibia saying such activities are against the law and deprive the country of much-needed revenue in terms of tax.

Information gathered by the ministry shows that there has been a lot of illegal importation of fuel from Angola in the northern region of the country.

In a statement made by the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga, during the fuel information sharing campaign in the northern regions, the ministry is concerned about the public safety that is compromised by the illegal activities.

“Fuel smuggling is an illegal conduct of bringing petroleum products into the country by unlicensed individuals.  It is done without duly reporting the consignment to customs officials, thereby evading tax and fuel levies due to government agencies. Investigations have shown that this illegal and smuggled fuel is stored in dangerous containers, which poses a danger to the environment, and often sold in a manner that poses a health hazard to the people,” said Shilunga.

“The illegal activity also put authorised fuel retailers to the disadvantage as they will have to compete, in terms of sales volumes, with illegal fuel from our neighbouring country, Angola.”

She said the fuel being smuggled from Angola is incompatible to Namibia’s gazetted fuel specification standards. According to her, vehicles that burn fuel containing a higher degree of sulphur content are not only detrimental to the engines of Namibian vehicles but they emit more than the total allowable carbon into the air.

High sulphur content emitted by the vehicle raises environmental concerns, especially in light of the fact that Namibia is a signatory to inter-continental conventions against pollution and carbon emissions.

However, Shilunga said there is nothing wrong with Angolan fuel if it is consumed within the borders of Angola.

“In addition, on a regional level, SADC has set a target for all countries to move to low sulphur and cleaner fuel by 2030. Unlike other countries, Namibia has moved fast to phase out Petrol 93 and introduced diesel 50 ppm. By the end of this year, which is now, Namibia will be phasing out diesel 500 ppm and gradually introduce diesel 10 ppm into the market.  We are working hard to ensure that our market is moving with the changing world in terms of cleaner fuel,” she said.

“Further to that, the international community compels Namibia to move to cleaner fuel, a responsibility that we have gladly accepted ... Untested and illegal fuel takes us, as Namibians, backward.”

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[Namibian] Namibian ophthalmologist Helena Ndume was placed 66th on the BBC's 100 Women list last month.
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          8-Flora Sapio on the Zero Draft of a Legally Binding Instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprise (Article 12 International Cooperation)       Cache   Translate Page      

(Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2018; Musée Ariana, porcelain figures Meissen 1725-1730 )

Flora Sapio (Comments on the "Zero-Draft"), and I (Making Sausages?: Preliminary Thoughts on the "Zero-Draft") have been considering the challenges posed by the Zero Draft.  But we wanted to dig deeper.  To that end we wanted to avoid the altogether too easy exercise of textual exegesis to suggest the challenges that this draft might construct for itself.

Rather than consider text, or text in light of the various mandates and principles purportedly manifested in the language used to build the Zero Draft, we thought it might be useful to consider text within the context of the initial commentary it might generate among Zero Draft stakeholders motivated enough to make them. These, then, might usefully inform the reading of text, and sharpen analysis of its structure and consequences. 

To that end, and in this and subsequent posts, Flora Sapio  presents summaries of discussions on each article of the Zero Draft, based on the written submissions available on the website of the OEIGWG.  These, then, will be woven together first to develop both a critique of the Zero Draft, and thereafter to suggest the value of an alternative, framework, model for such a project.

This Part 8 focuses on Article 12 of the Zero Draft (International Cooperation). 






Summaries of discussions on each article of the Zero Draft, based on the written submissions available on the website of the OEIGWG
Article 12 (International Cooperation)
Flora Sapio 


On 14 July 2014, the Human Rights Council created an Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG) on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG). According to Resolution 26/9, the Working Group has the mandate to: “elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.”

By “Other business enterprises” the Human Rights Council referred to all business enterprises having a transnational character in their operational activities. This designation does not apply to local businesses.

In establishing the OEIGWG, the Human Rights Council also decided that the first two sessions of the OEIGWG would be dedicated to conducting constructive deliberations on the content, scope, nature, and form of the future Treaty. Following deliberations, the Chairperson would prepare elements for the draft Treaty. Substantive negotiations on the Treaty would be held during the third session of the Working Group, based on the discussions held during the first two sessions.

The OEIGWG held its first session from 6 to 10 July 2015. A second session took place from 24 to 28 October 2016. Based on discussions held during the first two sessions, a third session was convened from 23 to 27 October 2017. During this session, the elements for the draft Treaty were discussed. Also, the OEIGWG requested the Chair-Rapporteur to complement the ongoing bilateral consultations with states and non-state stakeholders with informal consultations.

Following the third session, a Zero Draft of a Legally Binding Instrument (LBI) on Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and Other Business Enterprises (OBEs) was prepared by Ecuador. In July 2018 the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of India released the draft for public comments.

The Zero Draft of the Legally Binding Instrument (and a zero draft of an optional protocol to the binding instrument) formed the basis for a first round of substantive negotiations, held in Geneva from 15 to 19 October 2018. According to the program of work adopted by the OEIGWG, substantive negotiations saw experts, representatives of national states, transnational organizations, and NGOs comment on the Zero Draft.

In this and in following posts, I will be presenting summaries of discussions on each article of the Zero Draft, based on the written submissions available on the website of the OEIGWG.


Article 1 – summary of discussions - Thursday 18 October 2018
Article 2 – summary of discussions - Monday 15 October 2018
Article 3 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 4 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 5 – summary of discussions - Thursday 18 October 2018
Article 6 – summary of discussions - Tuesday 16 October 2018
Article 7 – summary of discussions - Tuesday 16 October 2018
Article 8 – summary of discussions - Monday 15 October 2018
Article 9 – summary of discussions - Tuesday 16 October 2018
Article 10 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 11 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 12 – summary of discussions - Wednesday 17 October 2018
Article 13 – summary of discussions - Tuesday 16 October 2018
Article 14 – summary of discussions - Thursday 18 October 2018
Article 15 – summary of discussions - Thursday 18 October 2018

Article12 (International Cooperation)



1. State Parties recognize the importance of international cooperation and its promotion for the realization of the purpose of the present Convention and will undertake appropriate and effective measures in this regard, between and among States and, as appropriate, in partnership with relevant international and regional organizations and civil society. Such measures could include, but are not limited to:

a. promote effective technical cooperation and capacity-building among policy makers, operators and users of domestic, regional and international remedial mechanism,
b. Sharing experiences, good practices, challenges, information and training programs on the implementation of the present convention,
c. Facilitating cooperation in research and studies on the best practices and experiences for preventing violations of human rights in the context of business activities of transitional character.


Article 12 of the Legally Binding Instrument on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises  was scheduled for discussion on 17 October 2018, from 10  AM to 13 PM, together with articles 10 (Legal Liability) and 11 (Mutual Legal Assistance).

Written comments specific to Article 12 were submitted by:

  • 1 expert
  • 3 states (Costa Rica, Egypt, Namibia)
  • 2 NGOs


Comments by Experts

Surya Deva, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights: article 12 contemplates partnership not only among States but also between States and civil society to raise awareness, build capacity, share good practices, and conduct research to promote business respect for human rights. We would suggest that NHRIs should also be part of such collaborative partnerships. To appreciate better the concerns of diverse rights holders, it would also be critical to engage civil society actors who work specifically on the rights of women, children, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, and persons with disabilities.

Written comments by Maddalena Neglia, FIDH, are not available on the OHCHR website.

Comments by States

Costa Rica: Costa Rica recognizes the importance of promoting the international framework for human rights at the national and international levels, and cooperation plays a key role. My country considers it important to be inspired by the Guiding Principles, to promote effective international cooperation schemes and share the best practices on the subject at hand.

Capacity-building and awareness-raising initiatives can play a decisive role in helping all States to to fulfill its duty of protection. Costa Rica agrees that collective action through multilateral institutions can help the States to level the situation with respect to the observance of human rights by companies in different States and this must be achieved by raising the level of States lagging behind. A very important challenge is to work in a cooperative scheme where TNCs are not included.

Egypt: article 12 is one of the important elements of the draft document and we propose strengthening it by including references to transnational corporations and enterprises so that awareness programs are organized on the principles and standards of human rights and the obligations of the host State and the mother country to ensure compliance with those obligations.

Namibia: articles 11 & 12 are clear and is clearly based on other international instruments, which provides for MLA and International Cooperation, and which have been implemented with great successes.

Comments by NGOs

International Association of Democratic Lawyers: international cooperation is strategic to guarantee the effectiveness of the Treaty, therefore the State obligation to facilitate homologation and compliance with foreign judgment must be guaranteed, despite arguments about sovereignty and national security, which do not contribute to the consolidation of a global community of norms of protection of human dignity.

International Organization of Employers: many provisions in the Zero Draft Treaty focus on imposing sanctions on companies on the one hand, while strengthening international cooperation and mutual legal assistance between States on the other hand. With its focus on transnational corporations and not domestic enterprises, the Zero Draft Treaty does not adequately consider how such State-to-State action will improve the situation for victims of any business-related harm in the jurisdiction where the adverse impact occurred and not just lead to a two-tiered system of compliance. The Zero Draft Treaty does not propose any "sticks" to accompany the "carrots" for States or other measures to increase peer pressure between States to ensure they meet their human rights duties at the national level. Improving State performance on human rights, such as by achieving policy coherence between existing standards and national laws, is a long-standing challenge. It is not clear that this Treaty would succeed where other similar instruments have not.




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          NAMIBIA : Trevali examines ways to boost zinc production in Rosh Pinah      Cache   Translate Page      
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          NAMIBIA : M2 Resources helps Deep South find funds for its copper      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Namibia Wildlife Resorts Courts Ghanaians      Cache   Translate Page      
Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) is on a charm offensive in Ghana. Last Friday November 30 2018 at the Cleaver House in Accra it hosted a networking and showcasing event for Ghanaian stakeholders drawn from travel and tour operators, the media and other interested parties. The two-person team from NWR, Miss Esther Ndilula, Corporate To ...
          Miss Intercontinental 2018 - Contestants      Cache   Translate Page      
Hola....
Yari na isab nag patai in 46 tao kontestants mag agaw sin crown sin Miss Intercontinental 2018 amun pa aunun ha hula Philippines. Good luck ladys...

Bandera de Albania Albania - Amela Kadiu

Flag of Australia.svg Australia - Mikaela Nanm Flowetr 

Flag of Bonaire.svg Bonaire -  Vera Ghazzouli

Flag of Brazil.svg Brasil - Flávia Polido

Flag of Canada.svg Canada - Alice Li

Flag of Chile.png Chile - Gresly Isabel Rios Muñoz

Flag of Colombia.svg Colombia - Hillary Hollmann Del Prado

Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba - Cynthia Linnet Lau 

Bandera de Curazao Curacao - Tiffany De Freitas 

Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czech Republic - Veronika Volkeova

Bandera de República Dominicana Dominican Republic - Wilma Antoniazzi

Flag of Ecuador.svg Ecuador - Nina Suleyka Solórzano Caicedo

Bandera de El Salvador El Salvador - Metzi Gabriela Solano

Bandera de Inglaterra England - Sarah Davies

Bandera de Etiopía Ethiopia - Bella Matwabse Liree

Bandera de Georgia Georgia - Gvantsa Minashvili

Flag of Germany.svg Germany - Olivia Möller

Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala - Yasmin Alvarado

Bandera de Honduras Honduras - Marianela Romero

Flag of Hungary.svg Hungary -  Gréta Muszka

Flag of India.svg India - Suman Chellani 

Bandera de Indonesia Indonesia - Aluna Rifani

Bandera de Jamaica Jamaica - Kayla Smith

Bandera de Japón Japan - Akari Maeda

Bandera de Corea del Sur Korea - Kim Seo Hee

Bandera de Malasia Malaysia - Liew Zi Ling

Bandera de Birmania Myanmar -  Nang Mway Phoung

Bandera de Namibia Namibia - Varaakuani Unonge Kutako

Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands - Michelle Van Sonsbeek

Bandera de Nueva Zelanda New Zealand - Alysson Ward

Bandera de Irlanda del Norte Northern Ireland - Cara Hunter

Flag of Panama.svg Panama - Arleen Paulina Luzowsky 

Bandera de Filipinas Philippines - Karen Juanita Gallman

Flag of Poland.svg Poland -  Angelika Duszczyk

Bandera de Puerto Rico Puerto Rico - Yanelie Santiago

Flag of Romania.svg Romania - Denisse Zifkov 

Bandera de Escocia Scotland - Laura MacMillan

Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa - Margo Kimberly Fargo

Flag of Thailand.svg Thailand - Aink Ingcahnok 

Flag of the United States.svg USA - Marianny Egurrola Daza

Flag of Venezuela.svg Venezuela - Gina Alessandra Paula Bitorzoli Pinto 

Bandera de Gales Wales - Joey Staerkle
 



Final Night : 29 January 2019 

          Desert Ultra Namibia - Leidenschaft schafft Leiden      Cache   Translate Page      
Im Vorjahr musste der Gablitzer Karl Heinz Riegl beim Ultratrail in Afrika aufgeben. Heuer wollte er die Scharte auswetzen, doch die Magenprobleme kehrten wieder.
          Insektenkunde - Fliege ist nicht gleich Fliege      Cache   Translate Page      
Fliege auf Blume (picture alliance / dpa / Ina Fassbender)Es gibt unglaublich viele von ihnen und doch sind längst nicht alle Arten bekannt: Fliegen. Auf dem Internationalen Fliegenkongress, der derzeit in Namibia stattfindet, tauschen Experten ihre neuesten Erkenntnisse aus. Mit dabei: viele afrikanische Nachwuchsforscher.

Von Joachim Budde
www.deutschlandfunk.de, Forschung aktuell
Hören bis: 08.06.2019 17:42
Direkter Link zur Audiodatei





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