Wednesday, 31 October 2012

UN Special Rapporteur: “Boycott businesses that profit from Israeli settlements”

Report includes seven case studies of Global Compact participants

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, calls on the UN General Assembly and civil society to take action against Israeli and international businesses that are profiting from Israeli settlements.
In his report, which was presented to the UN General Assembly on Thursday 25 October, Falk writes that companies that are invested in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, especially in Israel’s settlements, are in direct violation of international law standards, and human rights treaties, including the UN Global Compact and the Guiding Principles of the UN on Businesses and Human rights.

He further states that the businesses that profit from the Israeli settlement enterprise should be boycotted until they bring their operations into line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards.
The report contains 13 case studies of businesses that either directly or through subsidiaries benefit Israeli communities located in the West Bank. Among them are seven Global Compact participants: Veolia (France), G4S (UK), Dexia (Belgium), Volvo (Sweden), Hewlett Packard (US), Assa Abloy (Sweden) and Cemex (Mexico). The Special Rapporteur calls upon these Global Compact members “to be fully aware of the relevant integrity measures, particularly in the case of allegations of systematic or egregious abuses”.  
The report has sparked much discussion. In a statement, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice said that “Mr. Falk’s recommendations do nothing to further a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and indeed poison the environment for peace”.

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