Quantcast

Help Stop Corporate Domination of the United Nations

Climate

Friends of the Earth International

On June 5, on World Environment Day, and two weeks before a major United Nations (UN) Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) is beginning a campaign urging the UN to limit the excessive influence of multinational corporations on its decision-making processes.

FOEI is launching an online public petition asking UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon  to take the steps needed to reclaim the UN from corporate capture.

Already more than 335 civil society organizations representing millions of people from around the world signed an earlier joint statement initiated by FOEI and nine other organizations, denouncing the corporate domination of the UN.

Signatories are requesting a clear public response from the UN that its priority is to serve the public interest instead of business interests, and that the UN will take concrete steps to limit business and industry's influence in UN decision-making processes.

“We have clear and troubling examples of how major corporations and business lobby groups exercise an increasing and unacceptable level of influence on UN decision-making processes,” said Paul de Clerck, corporates campaign coordinator at FOEI.

“We are demanding a formal response from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and from the UN member states, we want them to curb the business lobby at the UN, to halt  UN-business partnerships, starting with companies involved in human rights violations, and to introduce global rules to hold companies accountable for their negative impacts," he added.

“The people are reclaiming the UN from the influence of big business and calling on  governments to restate that their over-riding prerogative is to serve the public interest... Friends of the Earth International will participate in the alternative Peoples Summit in Rio to underscore that the system needs to change in order to solve the current crisis,” said Brazil Lucia Ortiz, Economic Justice International program coordinator at Friends of the Earth International.

Background Information

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as the Rio Earth Summit. For 20 years governments have tried to agree on ways to save our planet—and ultimately our lives. As we are facing multiple global crises today, people around the world can no longer remain silent about the false solutions offered and the environmental injustices that remain unresolved.

The UN is the only forum we have to address global problems, in which all of the world's 192 countries have an equal voice. However, more and more we see that UN policies do not necessarily serve the public interest but instead promote the interests of corporations.

Steps to be taken include limiting the privileged status that business currently has in official UN negotiations and policy-making; limits on the role of the “business and industry” major group; disclosure of existing relations and links between the UN with the private sector; a code of conduct for UN officials; a review of existing partnerships with corporations and trade associations, and a halt to entering into any new such partnerships; increased transparency around lobbying; and the establishment of a legally binding framework to hold companies accountable to environmental, human rights and labor rights law.

Visit EcoWatch's CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Record flood water levels in Venice hit again on Sunday making this the worst week of flooding in the city in over 50 years.

Read More Show Less

By Brian Barth

Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
(L) 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC

The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Austin Nuñez is Chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, which joined with the Hopi and Pascua Yaqui Tribes to fight a proposed open-pit copper mine on sacred sites in Arizona. Mamta Popat

By Alison Cagle

Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The Navajo Nation has suffered from limited freshwater resources as a result of climate, insufficient infrastructure, and contamination. They collaborated with NASA to develop the Drought Severity Evaluation Tool. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.

Read More Show Less
Wild Exmoor ponies graze on a meadow in the Czech Republic. rapier / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Nanticha Ocharoenchai

In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.

Read More Show Less

Despite huge strides in improving the lives of children since 1989, many of the world's poorest are being left behind, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF warned Monday.

Read More Show Less