After Losing Vote, US-EU Threaten to Undermine Treaty

Another fine mess.

So typical a behavior of a bully who cannot have their way.


The United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo: United Natios Photo/ cc/ Flickr)

Common Dreams
By Thali Deen
28 June 2014

The United States and the 28-member European Union (EU) have assiduously promoted – and vigourously preached – one of the basic tenets of Western multi-party democracy: majority rules.

But at the United Nations, the 29 member states have frequently abandoned that principle when it insists on “consensus” on crucial decisions relating to the U.N. budget – or when it is clearly outvoted in the 193-member General Assembly or its committee rooms.

That’s exactly what happened Thursday at the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva which adopted, by majority vote, a proposal to negotiate a legally-binding treaty to prevent human rights abuses by transnational corporations (TNCs) and the world’s business conglomerates.

But following the vote, the United States and the EU, have warned they would not cooperate with an intergovernmental working group (IGWG) which is to be established to lay down ground rules for negotiating the proposed treaty.

Stephen Townley, the U.S. representative in the HRC, told delegates: “The United States will not participate in this IGWG, and we encourage others to do the same.”

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