World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Activities of transnational corporations

UN: Oral statement on the working methods and activities of transnational corporations

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

1 August 2002
IOR 40/021/2002

54th Session of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Item 4: Sessional working group on the working methods and activities of transnational corporations


Delivered by Melinda Ching on 1 August 2002



Amnesty International takes the floor today to unequivocally support the process of developing the "Human Rights Principles and Responsibilities for Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises" (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/XX, E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/WG.2/WP.1). Over the last decade, as the international economic environment has become more conducive to foreign direct investment and liberalization of international trade of goods and services, civil society organizations, including Amnesty International, have noted with concern the absence of a regulatory framework that could encompass non-state actors, particularly economic actors. The absence of such a framework is regarded by some to be at the heart of international protests targeting economic actors and market-led globalization.

As states have deregulated their economies and privatized functions traditionally performed by the state, non-state actors, including private sector companies, transnational, multinational or domestic, a lacuna has emerged. Even though states have the primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights, transnational corporations and other business enterprises, as organs of society, are also responsible for promoting and securing the human rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Transnational corporations and other business enterprises are further obliged to respect generally recognized principles and norms in UN treaties and other international instruments, such as the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up, and emerging guidelines, like the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises that apply to companies within the framework of OECD membership.

Nevertheless, there remains a gap at the global level. It is this very gap that the Principles and Responsibilities being developed seek to fill. They have been drafted so as to apply to all transnational corporations and other business enterprises. This new human rights standard is very comprehensive in covering human rights, labour, environmental, consumer, bribery, and other concerns. More important, they are based on recognized international standards. The process at the Sub-Commission leading to the development of these principles has been transparent, inclusive and the consultation has been broad. And by including corporations in all forms, the principles are fair, in not singling out any particular form of business entity for special scrutiny. Amnesty International's experience in dialogue with non-state actors has shown that responsibility for human rights protection extends to all actors, state and non-state, domestic and international.

Amnesty International welcomes the "Human Rights Principles and Responsibilities for Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises", as approved by the Working Group in February 2002, and urges the Sub-Commission to unequivocally support the principles and recommend them to the Commission on Human Rights for adoption at the 59th session.

Thank you Chairperson.


You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


World Vision: A Year On From Beirut Blast, Thousands Suffer Under Economic Collapse
In the year since the Beirut blast, a worsening economic crisis has vastly increased the numbers living in poverty, creating a worsening humanitarian crisis for Lebanon’s children, warns World Vision... More>>

UN: Conflict, COVID, Climate Crisis, Likely To Fuel Acute Food Insecurity In 23 ‘Hunger Hotspots’

Life-saving aid to families on the brink of famine is being cut off in several countries by fighting and blockades, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) said in a new report issued on Friday... More>>

Oxfam: Vaccine Monopolies Make Cost Of Vaccinating The World Against Covid At Least Five Times More Expensive Than It Could Be

The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren’t profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines, campaigners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance said today...

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN Africa Renewal: Energy Will Play A Critical Role In The Success Of Africa’s Free Trade Area

As a global leader and advocate for the achievement of SDG7, which calls for access to reliable, affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030, what three key things do African countries need to do to end energy poverty..? More>>

Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>

Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>