UN Removes "Apartheid Israel" Report from Website

March 22, 2017

An article in The Washington Post links pressure from US and Israeli officials with the removal from a UN website of a report condemning Israel's "apartheid" regime and the resignation of the head of the issuing UN agency, though a UN spokesman denied the removal was related to the report's content.

UN Rights Chief: Ban "Racist Hate Speech"

March 22, 2017

In a recent statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein included with his calls to combat race-based crimes a push for states to pass laws "expressly prohibiting racist hate speech" inciting people to "racial discrimination," arguing that the right to free expression comes with "special duties and responsibilities."

EU Considers ICJ Complaint over Brexit Bill

March 22, 2017

The Independent reports that a leaked strategy memo reveals that EU officials are planning to threaten the UK with a complaint in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) if Britain refuses to pay the full amount of what EU leaders say are its 60-billion-euro obligation to the budget of the bloc.

UN Agency Broadens Scope of MNE Declaration

March 22, 2017

The International Labour Organization's recently updated Tripartite Declaration of principles concerning Multinational Enterprises (MNE) and Social Policy includes items from the global business and human rights agenda including corporate due diligence standards and the social right to "decent work."

 

Weekly Update

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  • US Skips IACHR Hearings on Travel Restrictions

    March 27, 2017

    Voice of America reports that US government officials chose not to participate in a series of meetings held by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the impact of President Donald Trump’s executive orders on travel and refugee resettlement, citing ongoing litigation related to the migration policies.

     
  • UN Official Urges States to Prioritize "Personal Well-Being"

    March 27, 2017

    UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed celebrated the International Day of Happiness by calling for national governments to implement policies that foster "personal well-being" over economic growth, arguing that achievement of the UN's comprehensive Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires "inclusive, equitable and balanced approaches" to development.

     
  • UN Maintains Call for "Urgent" Climate Action

    March 27, 2017

    In a recent address to an event at the UN General Assembly on global warming, UN Secretary-General António Guterres dismissed the legitimacy of any debate over the need for "urgent and decisive" action to combat climate change and called on governments to implement their commitments to the UN climate deal agreed in Paris in 2015.

     
 
  • Study: Investors Lack Tools to Monitor "Social" Impacts

    March 27, 2017

    Casey O’Connor and Sarah Labowitz of the NYU Stern Center on Business and Human Rights have released a study arguing that businesses must release more information on the social impacts of their operations in order to better inform investors on their efforts toward improved environmental, social, and governance (ESG) outcomes.

     
  • Report: US Immigration Policy Will Pose BHR Risks

    March 27, 2017

    A new report by global risk analyst Verisk Maplecroft analyzing threats to business and human rights (BHR) contends that the Trump Administration’s immigration policies could endanger the human rights of undocumented immigrants and will increase the need for strong "human rights due diligence" efforts to ensure BHR-compliant sourcing of products and services.

     
  • UN Debate Signals Tension over Medicine IP "Barriers"

    March 27, 2017

    A recent UN Human Rights Council discussion signaled the growing tension between proponents of a report from the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines who wish to lower intellectual property (IP) barriers to increase access to medicine and US and EU officials who warn of the impacts of such policies on medical research and development.

     
 
  • Poland Vows to Fight Plans for "Multi-speed" Europe

    March 27, 2017

    Reuters reports that the leader of the governing Law and Justice Party of Poland, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has announced his party's intention to oppose any plans for a "multi-speed" EU in which member states can choose to integrate faster in select areas, as he expressed fears that such a system would make Poland an "inferior" member or push it out of the bloc altogether.

     
  • Scottish Party Backs off Plans to Remain in EU

    March 27, 2017

    The Telegraph reports that, in response to polls showing growing support in Scotland for leaving the EU or reducing the bloc's powers, the leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, has adjusted the party's plans for independence from the UK to target membership of the peripheral European Free Trade Area rather than full-fledged membership in the EU.

     
  • Politico: UK Eyes 10-Year Brexit Transition Period

    March 27, 2017

    Politico reports that unnamed sources have confirmed UK officials are considering proposing a 10-year post-Brexit transition period during which the EU and Britain would maintain zero tariffs on each other's goods while negotiators work out a permanent free trade deal.

     
 
  • Indonesian Brits Promote Sharia Finance in UK

    March 27, 2017

    The Indonesian Sharia Economic Community in the UK is actively promoting sharia compliant/compatible economic practices as part of a strategy to organize Indonesians in Europe to promote the integration of Islamic finance into Western economies.

     
  • Saudi, Turkish Interests Counter US Goals on Islamist Extremism

    March 27, 2017

    Saudi Arabia and Turkey continue to view their short-term geopolitical goals in Yemen and Syria as justification for supporting Islamic State and al-Qaeda proxies, creating long-term staying power to the Islamist extremist ideology and jihadi terrorism that the US is working to defeat.

     
  • IS Prepares for Comeback in Mosul

    March 27, 2017

    Islamic State (IS) militants have their eye on the long game in Iraq through the recapture of their caliphate city of Mosul, taking advantage of internecine squabbling among the various branches of the Iraqi government's military and security apparatus by launching a tactical campaign of suicide attacks and by developing political contacts with Iraqi Sunni militias.