Community Green Radio partners with Real World Radio to attend the 2018 Global Campaign week in Geneva Switzerland

Community Green Radio was part this year’s annual Global Campaign week in Geneva, Switzerland. The annual campaign week was launched on Sunday 13th October 2018 at the UN square with a huge procession in the European city.


Community Green radio was represented by Julius Kyamanywa, the radio station Manager, who was facilitated by Real World Radio.


“It was a whole learning and experience sharing moment for me. It created a whole new perspective of activism and development journalism that is geared towards fostering human rights”, Kyamanywa narrated on his return home.


Real World Radio’s José Elosegui believes the experience gained during the Global campaign week can go a long way to changing the face of the media, radio in particular, in relation to human rights advocacy, especially because it puts the faces and voices of the victims of TNC abuses all over the world at the centre of this issue.


“Media is at the top of everything now. Radio in particular is everywhere. This means for any endeavor to be successful, media engagement is vital and the experienced gathered here is vital for reporting on human rights from a victim´s perspective”, explained Mr. Elosegui.


Mr. Elosegui also believes that partnerships between different media outlets and from different regions of the world is vital for effective communications built with social movements and organizations from all the continents.


“If such partnerships continue, we can build a force to reckon with. The need for a legally binding treaty on TNCs is a subject all media practitioners must take interest in, since the TNC violations of human rights, sadly, are a reality all over the world”, narrated Mr. José Elosegui.


The campaign week, also known as the Week of Peoples Mobilization, ended on 20th.October 2018 and was attended by representatives of the Global Inter-Parliamentary network, affected communities, movements, trade unions and other networks and organizations.

TOGETHER AS ONE: José Elosegui (LEFT) of Real World Radio and Julius Kyamanywa of Community Green Radio at the Global Campaign week in Geneva in October.

 

The Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign) is a network of over 200 social movements, networks, organizations and affected communities resisting the land grabs, extractive mining, exploitative wages and environmental destruction of transnational corporations (TNCs) in different global regions, particularly Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Campaign is a people’s global structural response to unaccountable corporate power. It provides facilitation for dialogue, strategizing, exchanging information and experiences and acts as a space to make resistance visible and deepen solidarity and support for struggles against TNCs.

At the same time the Campaign proposes an International Peoples Treaty which provides a political framework to support the local, national and international movements and communities in their resistances and practices of alternatives to corporate power and the TNC model of the economy. It also participates in the campaign for UN Binding Treaty to regulate TNCs, stop human rights violations, end impunity and ensure access to justice for affected communities.

The Week of Peoples Mobilization in Geneva also coincided with the 4th Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group mandated to develop a UN Binding Treaty on Transnational Corporations and other business enterprises with respect to Human Rights (OEIGWG).


Real World Radio, also known as Radio Mundo Real (RWR) is a multilingual web-based radio station. RWR works as part of and in close cooperation with the communications functions of the environmentalist federation Friends of the Earth International (FoEI). It was created in September 2003, during the World Trade Organization’s Fifth Ministerial Conference, as an initiative to increase and support the resistance to the event. Ever since then, RWR has covered the struggle of the social, indigenous and peasant movements worldwide, among others, addressing a wide range of social and environmental issues. The different themes it covers have been organized to foster and facilitate interaction with FoEI programs. Friends of the Earth International groups across six continents are mobilizing to highlight the climate emergency, fight dirty energy and false solutions and to call for a people-led transformation of our energy system.


Community Green Radio is an initiative of National Association of Professional Environmentalists, NAPE and partners. The mission of the radio is to amplify the voices of local communities in oil rich Albertine region in Western Uganda to actively participate in natural resources management processes. The radio’s currently operates on an affiliation status on a local fm station in Hoima Town in Western Uganda.


Story Compiled by Julius Kyamanywa

Negotiations on a UN Treaty on TNCs taking shape despite reservations about EU’s commitment

As stakeholders continue with the fourth informal negotiations on a UN treaty on transnational corporations and other business enterprises in relation to human rights at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, activists continue to call on the European Union to start supporting the process.

Civil society support for a legally binding treaty to regulate transnational corporations is growing, particularly in the Global South. According to activists, rather than engaging with the United Nations treaty negotiations, the European Union is delaying and derailing the process. Activists are punching holes in the EU’s claim that it is committed to protecting human rights and those that defend them, when it is attempting to shut down this historical process.

Position of Friends of the Earth International

According to Friends of the Earth International, the key elements to make the new legally binding instrument effective include obligations for transnational corporations to respect human rights, corporate liability in case of violations, transparency in supply chains to pierce the corporate veil that allows companies to avoid responsibility, and an international human rights court that affected people can turn to if their national courts fail to provide access to justice.

     “Organizations and social movements around the world are demanding justice and an end to the impunity of transnational corporations that are responsible for the systematic violation of peoples’ rights. We are calling for the adoption of a legally binding Treaty that establishes direct legal responsibility for transnational corporations and their managers throughout the production chain. We can only guarantee access to justice for those affected with an effective implementation mechanism. The Treaty must prioritize human rights over free trade agreements and investments”, Ms. Karin Nansen, the chair of Friends of the Earth International explained during a press conference at the UN Square in Geneva Switzerland.

Friends of the Earth International argue that the Zero Draft must establish the primacy of human rights over trade agreements, provide paths for reparations for affected communities, and protect defenders of territories from future abuses which they contend require regulations to prevent international financial institutions from acting with impunity when financing destructive projects or supporting policies that undermine people’s rights to public services.

In 2015 a United Nations intergovernmental working group began work on a treaty to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Calls for a legal mechanism to prevent corporate human rights abuses and attacks on democratically-elected governments have been repeated since Salvador Allende’s remarkable 1972 speech to the UN General Assembly. Corporate crimes against the environment and peoples' rights have continued unabated since then, while violence against defenders of territories and collective rights have reached alarming levels and activists believe companies are rarely held to account.

Many countries have been developing concrete proposals regarding the content and implementation of a binding treaty to close gaps in international human rights law and improve affected peoples' access to justice. This includes national legislation within European states establishing legal obligations for transnational corporations to prevent human rights abuses and environmental damages along their whole supply chains.

WE ARE WITH YOU: Members of Friends of the Earth International standing in solidarity with the people of Lancashire at the UN Human Rights  Council in Geneva Switzerland in October this year.

Suspicious conduct of the EU and FoEI stand

EU representatives failed to show up to opening negotiations at the UN in 2015, and only engaged in 2016 and 2017 after pressure from civil society organizations. During the most recent informal consultations, in May and June, the EU continued to show what activists say was an impediment to the negotiations by calling for a new resolution to reduce the working group's mandate. The activist argue that if the EU’s demand is heeded to, it would mean the reversal of four years of progress, and give the EU a chance to change the scope of the treaty, or water it down to a mere amendment of the voluntary Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

 “All the voluntary mechanisms in the world will not secure the lives of defenders of territories from systemic threats and attacks by corporations on the environment, livelihoods, and people’s rights. It would be an historical failure for universal human rights law if, after more than 45 years of fighting for accountability of transnational corporations, the UN working group, with Ecuador as chair supported by more than 100 UN member states, yielded to the EU’s obstructive tactics”, read a statement on the Friends of the Earth International website.

Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) is an international network of environmental organizations in 74 countries.  FoEI currently has a secretariat based in Amsterdam, Netherlands which provides support for the network and its agreed major campaigns. Natioanal Association of Professinal Environmentalists, NAPE and Community Green Radio are members of the FoEI.

Compiled by Julius Kyamanywa (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)