Round-table Discussion on the Options for Format and Process of the UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights

Geneva, Switzerland
27 October 2017

WHO FCTC Secretariat

The Convention Secretariat was invited to share its experience as a pioneer international health treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO at a Round-table Discussion on the Options for Format and Process of the UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights.

The meeting was held on the 25 October 2017 in Geneva, and organized as part of the ongoing Third Session of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group created by the United Nations Human Rights Council to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Participants were enlightened as to the aspects and processes which were instrumental in the successful negotiation of the WHO FCTC, including the need for the political will to draft a qualitative treaty to be present, the importance of allocating adequate resources to enable the participation of a wide range of parties and stakeholders in the negotiations, and mechanisms used during and after the negotiation to ensure the Convention's effective implementation.

The process of negotiating the Protocol on Illicit Trade and the formulation of guidelines for the Convention were also elaborated upon.

The Secretariat stressed the importance of Article 5.3 and its guidelines and briefed the participants that human rights was on the agenda of the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties in 2016.

Following the mandate given by the decision of the FCTC COP7(26), the Secretariat will continue to collaborate with United Nations mechanisms on issues of business and human rights to protect public health interests from the commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry and wishes the Working Group a successful session.