In July 2020, QUNO along with Brot für die Welt, Christian Aid Ireland, Swedwatch and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), submitted an informal input with key messages on COVID-19 and business and human rights to the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, for their project on business in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
A previous formal joint submission to the Working Group in April by several of the above NGOs did not include COVID-19 analysis, as at the time of writing it was too early for that to be integrated with any certainty. This group therefore wanted to ensure the inclusion and visibility of some more recent information and analysis regarding how the unfolding COVID-19 situation was affecting contexts affected by conflict with regards to business operations.
The key areas of focus of the informal input were:
- Conflict-Sensitive Approaches to COVID-19 Aid
- Call for Responsible Exits
- Responsible and Sustainable Economic Recovery Plans, and International Financial Institutions
- The Arms Trade and COVID-19
- Hunger, Conflict and COVID-19
- Two case studies: Cerrejón coal mine and COVID-19 impacts, and China’s Belt Road Initiative and COVID-19
We look forward to seeing the Working Group’s project report, and to engaging further on these issues going forward - for example at the General Assembly and around the Forum on Business and Human Rights in November 2020.