[bestbits] UN expert urges TPP countries not to sign the TPP without committing to human rights and development

Carolina Rossini carolina.rossini at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 07:22:49 EST 2016


*UN expert urges Pacific Rim countries not to sign the TPP without
committing to human rights and development *

GENEVA (2 February 2016) – United Nations human rights expert Alfred de
Zayas called on Governments not to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
without reaffirming their human rights treaty obligations and their recent
pledges to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The TPP is fundamentally flawed and should not be signed or ratified
unless provision is made to guarantee the regulatory space of States,” said
the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable
international order in a statement* made public today.

Mr. de Zayas called for a new generation of trade agreements for the 21st
century, which would incorporate human rights and development into their
provisions, stressing that “the TPP is based on an old model of trade
agreements that is out of step with today’s international human rights

The expert’s appeal comes on the eve of the gathering of the trade
ministers in Auckland, New Zealand, on 4 February 2016, to sign the TPP, a
trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries that will strengthen the
position of investors, transnational corporations and monopolies at the
expense of the public, and will impact negatively on labour standards, food
security, health and environmental protection.

Mr. de Zayas reiterated his call on the UN system and Governments across
the world “to put an end to free trade and investment agreements that
conflict with human rights treaty obligations,” made last year during the
presentation of a report on free trade and investment agreements to the UN
Human Rights Council.

“Trade is not an end in itself, but must be seen in the context of the
international human rights regime, which imposes binding legal obligations
on States, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights,” he said.

“Trade agreements are not ‘stand-alone’ legal regimes, but must conform
with fundamental principles of international law, including transparency
and accountability,” Mr. de Zayas stressed. “They must not delay,
circumvent, undermine or make impossible the fulfilment of human rights
treaty obligations.”

In his statement, the Independent Expert expressed concern that, despite
“enormous opposition by civil society worldwide, twelve countries are about
to sign an agreement, which is the product of secret negotiations without
multi-stakeholder democratic consultation.”

“The options are not to sign the TPP as it stands, as civil society
demands, or not to ratify it, which is the responsibility of democratically
elected parliaments,” the expert noted. “Should the TPP ever enter into
force, its compatibility with international law should be challenged before
the International Court of Justice (ICJ)”.

“If a public referendum were held in all twelve countries concerned, it
will be solidly rejected,” Mr. de Zayas stated.

*(*)* Check the Independent Expert’s public statement:


*Mr. Alfred de Zayas (United States of America) was appointed as the first
Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable
international order by the Human Rights Council, effective May 2012. He is
currently professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy.
Learn more, log on to: *

*Read the Independent Expert’s 2015 report to the UN Human Rights Council
(A/HRC/30/44): *

*Read the Independent Expert’s 2015 report to the UN General Assembly on
the incompatibility of ISDS with human rights norms (A/70/285): *

*The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special
Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest
body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general
name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms
that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all
parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis;
they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are
independent from any government or organization and serve in their
individual capacity.*

*For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Karin
Hechenleitner (+41 22 917 9636 <%28%2B41%2022%20917%209636> / *
*khechenleitner at ohchr.org* <khechenleitner at ohchr.org>*) or write to *
*ie-internationalorder at ohchr.org* <ie-internationalorder at ohchr.org>

For *media inquiries* related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 /
xcelaya at ohchr.org)

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*Carolina Rossini *
*Vice President, International Policy*
*Public Knowledge*
*http://www.publicknowledge.org/ <http://www.publicknowledge.org/>*
+ 1 6176979389 | skype: carolrossini | @carolinarossini
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