Citizens' Treaty of Corporate and State Compliance

Aware That:

While the United Nations representing over 180 nation states was
negotiating the follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development (UNCED), the Organization of Economic Cooperation and
Development OECD representing 28 states has been undermining the UN process by setting up their own international agreement ( the Multilateral
Agreement on Investment-MAI). The MAI has been devised to promote and
entrench in terms of rights and obligations the vested interest of the
corporate sector.

For years behind the scenes, the OECD countries comprised of
corporate-sympathetic administrations have been working with the corporate
sector to undermine years of obligations incurred by states through
conventions, treaties and covenants, years of commitments made through
conference action plans and years of expectations created through General
Assembly resolutions.

Through these international obligations, commitments and expectations
states have undertaken the following :

(i) to promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights and social justice;
(ii) to ensure the preservation and protection of the environment;
(iii) to create a global structure that respects the rule of law;
(iv) to achieve a state of peace; justice and security , and
(v) to enable socially equitable and environmentally sound development.

Citizens must act to ensure the discontinuance of all further
negotiations on MAI and the cancellation of previous free trade agreements
such as NAFTA which have undermined and continue to undermine over 50 years
of international obligations, expectations and commitments..

One commitment that all member states of the United Nations have
undertaken in the Platform of Action in the UN Conference on Women:
Equality, Development and Peace (Beijing, 1995) and in the Habitat II
Agenda was "to ensure that corporations including transnationals comply
with national codes, social security laws, international laws, including
international environmental law".

To assist the governments to act on the above corporate-compliance
commitment citizens could draft a Citizens Treaty for Corporate and State
Compliance.

Here are some potential provisions of this treaty.

We the Member States of the United Nations Undertake the Following:


* To sign and ratify international agreements that they have not yet
signed and ratified, and to enact the necessary legislation to ensure
compliance and enforcement, and to fulfill expectations created through
General Assembly resolutions and declarations, and to act upon commitments
arising from conference action plans.

* To establish mandatory international normative standards/regulations
(MINS) drawn from international principles and from the highest and
strongest regulations from member states, and to harmonize continually
upwards

* To demand and ensure compensation and reparation will be sought from
corporations and sympathetic administrations for the environmental
degradation and human rights violation in developed and developing
countries, on lands of indigenous peoples and in the communities of the
marginalized citizens in both developing and developed countries.

* To revoke licences and charters of corporations including transnationals
if the corporations have violated human rights, caused environmental
degradation, disregarded labour rights, or contributed to conflict and war,
and if they have failed to pay compensation. for past non-compliance with
international agreements.

* To reduce the military budget and transfer the savings (i) into
guaranteeing the right to food, the right to safe and affordable shelter,
the right to universal health care, the right to safe drinking water, the
right to a safe environment, the right to education and the right to peace,
(ii) into socially equitable and environmentally sound work,

* To increase funding for United Nations agencies and international,
national and regional educational institutions so that their missions will
not be undermined by corporate direction of research.

* To develop criteria for partnership with the UN to ensure the exclusiong
of all corporations if in any part of their operation they have violated
human rights, caused environmental degradation, contributed to war and
conflict, or failed to promote socially equitable and environmentally sound
development.

* To distinguish civil society from the market, and define civil society as
those members of society that adhere to principles within the United
Nations system that guarantee human rights, foster social justices, protect
and conserve the environment, prevent war and conflict, and enable socially
equitable and environmentally sound development.

* To prevent the transfer to other states of substances and activities that
cause environmental degradation or that are harmful to human health, as
agreed in the Rio Declaration

* To undertake to act upon a commitment in recent UN Conferences to move
away from the overconsumptive model of development, reduce the ecological
footprint and reject the notion that economic growth will solve the urgency
of the global situation.

* To prohibit all trade zones designed to circumvent obligations, and
commitments related to the guaranteeing of human rights, social justice,
and labour rights; and to the protecting and preserving of the
environment.

* To establish an International Court of Compliance where citizens can take
evidence of state and corporate non-compliance

Joan Russow