A treaty is negotiated by a group of countries, either through an organization created for this purpose or by an existing body such as the United Nations Council on Disarmament (UN). The negotiation process can take several years depending on the subject of the treaty and the number of participating countries. At the end of the negotiations, the treaty will be signed by representatives of the governments concerned. Conditions may require that the treaty be ratified and signed before it becomes legally binding. A government ratifies a treaty by tabling a ratification instrument in a treaty-defined location; the ratification instrument is a document containing formal confirmation of the Government`s acceptance of the provisions of the treaty. The ratification process varies according to national laws and constitutions. In the United States, the president can only ratify a treaty after receiving the “consultation and approval” of two-thirds of the Senate. In this toolkit for activists, Friends of the Earth International provides its member groups, allies, civil society organizations and the interested public with resources for action. Join us in our efforts to mobilize and lobby for a binding treaty to end corporate impunity and hold TNCS to account for human rights violations. So far, for example, the EU`s lack of substantial commitment to the UN treaty process is in stark contrast to the EU`s strong progress towards extending and enforcing investor rights in bilateral agreements.
Instead of prioritizing the interests of business over human rights and the environment, the EU should invest this level of effort to protect against harmful business activities. That is why somo and other organisations are calling on the EU and its member states to participate more constructively in the content and process of the UN treaty. In 2014, the victory of the people was celebrated in the UN Human Rights Council: the adoption of Resolution 26/9, which created a new Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) to develop a legally binding international instrument to regulate transnational corporations (TNCs) and other human rights enterprises.