Tag Archive for: Global Governance

This working document presents a brief analysis of the current relations between the People’s Republic of China and Argentina in a national and international context; and taking into account aspects such as the relationship between the Asian giant and the Kirchner government, the change of government that took place in Argentina at the end of 2015, the Argentine economic reality and the election of the Republican Donald Trump as president of the United States.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


Like every year, during the month of November, the United Nations Forum on Human Rights and Business is held in Geneva. Whenever this event takes place, a particular theme is designated that will be the protagonist. This year, this theme has to do with: ‘access to repair mechanisms’.

The umbrella that protects this high-level meeting is subject to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These Principles constitute the current tool to regulate the actions of national and transnational companies regarding human rights. They were born with the academic John Ruggie and were adopted by the United Nations in 2011, by the Human Rights Council, through resolution 17/4. The objectives of the Board at that time were: identify and clarify corporate responsibility standards; and clarify the role of states. To this end, the established guidelines were divided into three fundamental pillars: the duty of the State to protect human rights, the responsibility of companies to respect human rights and access to redress mechanisms.

The mandate of these guiding principles is to “reduce as much as possible the negative impacts of business on human rights in a short period of time“. They also have general characteristics: (a) they cover all States. (b) they cover all companies, of all sizes, in all sectors and in all countries. (c) identify different but complementary responsibilities between States and companies. (d) they do not create new legal obligations, they elaborate based on existing obligations and best practices for States and companies. (e) are based on the idea that it can not be compensated: positive impacts do not compensate for negative impacts on human rights elsewhere. (f) they are a mixture of regulatory and voluntary approaches.

The context that gave birth to these principles is not different from that of today. The actions of the companies (even after the adoption of the principles) and their consequences, continue to show that national and international regulatory frameworks have not met the objective of protecting human rights. During 2016 we have witnessed the largest massacre of human rights defenders. Around the world, vulnerable communities have been violated their rights (housing, health, life, a healthy environment, among others) because of the actions of companies and corporations.

This situation has shown that the guiding principles have not yet managed to become an effective preventive framework regarding human rights violations due to corporate actions. In this sense, it is understandable why in the session of the Forum this year 2017 has focused on access to reparation. This third pillar refers to the existence of effective remedies for victims of human rights violations. At the state level, it is expected that States take appropriate measures to investigate, punish and repair. On the part of the corporations, the principles encourage the existence of early warnings that identify negative impacts and allow resolving complaints before the situation escalates to more damaging scenarios.

Since DD.HH. are currently at the mercy of business activity, the role of the States becomes fundamental. Specifically in regard to the strengthening of regulatory frameworks at the domestic level. For this, an essential part of the obligations of the States has to do with: ensuring access to judicial and non-judicial mechanisms; and reduce the obstacles to access to justice. In this regard, it is necessary to emphasize that non-judicial mechanisms play a very important complementary role. Some of them include: State mechanisms, national human rights institutions, ombudsmen, complaints offices, National Contact Points (OECD), among others.

The application of the guiding principles by the States has been given through the form of National Plans of Action. It is expected that these plans will be constituted as instruments that:

– Promote greater coordination among government agencies with direct involvement in business issues and human rights.

– Promote the protection of human rights through due diligence in companies.

– Identify national priorities regarding this topic and translate them into concrete public policies

– Ensure monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the plan, in a continuous manner.

– Are based on a platform of continuous dialogue with all the actors involved (government, companies and civil society)

– Possess a flexible format for cooperation, coordination and international exchange of good practices and lessons learned.

– Strengthen regulations at the domestic level.

The result of the development of these plans around the world leaves much to be desired. There are still many States that have not embarked on this process and those that have done so have not succeeded in having their plans promote a framework strong enough to respect, protect and / or remedy.

The situation of widespread vulnerability to this problem has raised doubts about the effectiveness of the guiding principles, and a process to create a legally binding instrument has been developed at the same time. During the Forum, it is expected to debate about the roles that the principles and the binding treaty would occupy. Although opinions are divided (between those who support one initiative or another) it is necessary to clarify that the principles and the treaty are complementary. A binding instrument is a step forward with respect to the guidelines. To achieve this progress it is necessary to protect the autonomy of the process of construction of the treaty since, in short, this initiative would give greater impetus to the guiding principles, and would give greater and better content to the action plans.

More information

– Advancing towards a binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights

– Discussions in Argentina regarding a business treaty and human rights

– We participate in the second regional consultation of ECLAC on human rights and companies


 Agustina Palencia, agustinapalencia@fundeps.org


Juan Carballo, juanmcarballo@fundeps.org

The PPP or PPP (by its name in English: Private Public Partnerships), born in the United Kingdom in the early 70’s and then expanded by the rest of Europe, North America and Latin America, with Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru , Uruguay and Mexico, represent a new form of linkage between the private sector and the public sector. Under this model, part of the services or works traditionally under the responsibility of the public sector are executed by the private sector through a contract in which the shared objectives for the supply of the service or work in question are clearly delineated, and the obligations and risks assumed for each part. Although the level of participation of the private sector has increased since the eighties of the last century, PPPs are presented as innovative agreements. It is supposed that they allow a better mobilization of resources to solve the problems of the public sector to execute this type of projects.

In Argentina, and after some attempts to give legal form to PPPs in the years 2000 and 2005, new legislation is approved in Congress at the end of 2016, through Law 27,328. The text of this law defines public-private partnership contracts in its art. 1 as: “those held between the bodies and entities that make up the national public sector with the scope provided in article 8 of Law 24.156 and its amendments (as a contracting party), and private or public subjects in the terms set forth in establishes in the present law (as contractors) with the aim of developing projects in the fields of infrastructure, housing, activities and services, productive investment, applied research and / or technological innovation”.

In our country we have a serious deficit of public works and, until now, the State has not been able to fill that gap. That is why they are seeking, as with the new APP law, new forms of financing in infrastructure and public works. However, we must be careful when implementing it, since PPPs carry some risks and opportunities. How favorable are these types of agreements for infrastructure development? Do they really work? What are its true scope and limitations? These are some of the questions that arise when evaluating the projects executed under this modality.

So far there are no cases of application of this type of contract for the realization of infrastructure works. We believe it is important to strive for transparency and accountability on the part of the government in the use of this and other forms of contracting. Learning from the experiences of Latin American countries on these issues, during the whole process in which the PPP project is developed, the risks that this implies must be correctly evaluated. Also, control, supervise and plan correctly and responsibly, taking into account the social interest of the project, access to information, citizen participation. Also, trying to avoid corruption and potential environmental, social and human rights impacts.

More information

– Risks and opportunities of the new Law of Public-Private Partnerships in Argentina | FUNDEPS

– Why Public-Private Partnerships now? | Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN)

– Public-Private Partnerships from the multilateral bank. Implementation in Latin America. Part I | Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad

– Comparative study on the implementation of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) | FARN

Image source

Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo


María Victoria Gerbaldo – victoriagerbaldo@fundeps.org


Gonzalo Roza – gon.roza@fundeps.org

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

Currently, the Latin American region has witnessed a resounding change in the area of ​​large investments for development. Traditionally, international financial institutions (IFIs) played a fundamental role in supporting development projects in the region. The World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank Group were behind the large investments in the infrastructure area.

This situation has been modified by the increase in the presence of the People’s Republic of China as the main investor in this matter. In this regard, it is necessary to highlight that this situation has brought about a strong discussion regarding social and environmental standards. Traditional IFIs have regulations that, while far from functioning properly in practice, minimally seek to ensure compliance with certain environmental, social and human rights standards in their projects. In the case of Chinese institutions, on the contrary, the situation is more complex, since in most cases these institutions lack transparency or clear and robust regulations in socio-environmental matters.

The consequence of the coexistence of these two groups of institutions – the traditional IFIs and the Chinese ones – has given a negative balance and this has been evidenced in the retreat of the safeguards in organisms such as the World Bank. In this sense, the current financing structure in Latin America has seen its standards fall, generating serious situations of violation of rights when launching large infrastructure projects. During 2016, 200 environmental defenders lost their lives claiming their rights before the advance of major oil and mining projects. 60% of those deaths occurred in Latin America and 40% belonged to indigenous peoples.

From this framework, the Regional Coalition for Transparency and Participation, brought together a group of civil society organizations with the aim of influencing the improvement of socio-environmental standards in infrastructure megaprojects. At the Fourth Regional Meeting on Human Rights, Transparency and Investments, held in Lima on August 30 and 31, the organizations gathered spoke for the urgent need to ensure the rights of environmental defenders. Likewise, the growing cases of corruption around the megaprojects and the lack of access to public information were highlighted.

The statement after the meeting noted that: “several governments have been addressing the right of access to public information as a mere administrative procedure, without taking into account that it is an instrumental human right to other fundamental rights, such as the right to life, to health, to freedom of expression, which contributes to the adequate and timely citizen participation and free and informed prior consultation. In this line, it is worrying that several international initiatives on transparency and access to information can not continue to advance adequately because there is a risk that we seek to lower the standards, as in the case of the Regional Agreement of Principle 10.” The large infrastructure projects then, today remain the scenario for the problematization of issues such as transparency and accountability.

Several governments in Latin America have joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and have therefore committed to implementing policies that promote transparency, access to information, accountability and participation. citizen This necessarily implies that these efforts to ‘open the State’ must expand to the environmental and infrastructure branch. Currently this is a pending debt and of the 3000 commitments assumed before OGP, only 54 belong to the field of infrastructure. Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Uruguay are the Latin American and Caribbean nations that have elaborated goals in relation to this matter. However, the problems persist and the situation of human rights around the megaprojects has been getting worse. In addition, after the Fourth Meeting of the Regional Coalition, it was highlighted that “it is important that the processes for the elaboration of the Work Plans of the Alliance for Open Government of the countries be truly participatory and with ambitious, measurable and relevant “. This is especially important when it comes to achieving the involvement and monitoring of society in public works processes (throughout the project cycle).

In Argentina this reality is replicated. Currently, large infrastructure projects are being developed that have been involved in corruption cases and whose information was not shared with citizens. We can mention among them: the hydroelectric dams in the Province of Santa Cruz and the trunk gas pipelines in the province of Córdoba.

The generalized situation of human rights around infrastructure megaprojects is alarming. There continue to be numerous cases in which nearby communities are harmed by this type of work. Added to this, the killing of environmental defenders has worsened in the last two years. In this context, we adhere to the Lima Declaration and urge Latin American governments to move towards more transparent policies on this issue.

More information

– Declaration of Lima


Agustina Palencia, agustinapalencia@fundeps.org


Gonzalo Roza gon.roza@fundeps.org

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


“Through its financing and technical support, a complex range of public and private institutions continue to be involved in attacks against defenders,” cites the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst.

According to Forst, “there is a deep crisis linked to the imposition of development models that seem to favor short-term benefits and commodification on the needs and aspirations of local populations.” The report found that in many cases, violations of rights and conflict stem from the exclusion of potentially affected communities from decisions about their lands and natural resources. “Only by guaranteeing the right of those communities to grant or deny their Free, prior and informed consent, as foreseen in international agreements, can avoid these origins of the conflict.

The Special Rapporteur’s analysis echoes some of the critical trends and challenges highlighted in a brief submittedby the Coalition for Human Rights in Development in response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for the report. These include the growing role of the private sector in development, the lack of due diligence on human rights by development banks, the increasing use of financial intermediaries and the poor execution of consultation and consent processes.

The report of the Special Rapporteur highlights the “urgency” for development banks and other investors to use due diligence on human rights issues to identify potential risks for defenders and identify mitigation measures before making investment decisions. Taking into account the commitments of the States in matters of sustainable development, the Rapporteur stressed that “now is the time to ‘lead by example’ and ensure that no one can be killed or threatened for the mere fact of defending human rights.

The report recommends several concrete policies and practices that development banks and other investors should adopt to safeguard defenders:

– Conduct ex ante impact assessments on the enabling environment for human rights and fundamental freedoms in host countries, as well as on the risks of projects for human rights defenders.

– Conduct on-site monitoring with human rights experience for all projects;

Use contractual provisions to require clients to ensure that defenders can publicly and securely disclose their claims;

– Demand accessible and independent complaints mechanisms with experience in human rights;

– Monitor projects closely for reprisals and, if they do occur, respond promptly and publicly, including exercising influence over governments to investigate and hold accountable those who use force against protesters or threaten critics of projects;

– Disclose all final users of loans from financial intermediaries and ensure compliance with safeguards and human rights;

– Retain investments where impact evaluations reveal serious threats to civil liberties and to defenders.

The Special Rapporteur’s findings echo many of the priorities and recommendations of the Defenders in Development campaign led by the Coalition along with civil society groups from around the world. The campaign is working to ensure that development activities respect human rights, that development funders promote an environment conducive to public participation, and that defenders can defend their rights and hold development actors accountable. fear.

SourceCoalición para los Derechos Humanos en el Desarrollo

source of the imageAccountability Counsel

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

From October 7 to 9, 2017, the 2017 Meeting of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development was held, a global coalition of social movements, civil society organizations and community groups of which we are part, and which works to ensure that all institutions that finance development respect, protect and fulfill human rights.

The agenda of the meeting focused on strengthening the relations of Coalition members and allies, closely examining the current development model, identifying strategies and modes of collaboration to successfully address it, and setting priorities and key initiatives for the next two years. This, after a 2016 where the work of the Coalition and its members was very active (see Coalition’s Impact Report 2016).

Over the course of three days, more than 60 participants from various regions of the world participated in discussions, activities and strategic discussions around a number of key issues. Among them, we sought to share experiences, challenges, lessons learned, and future needs around community participation partnerships; efforts were made to establish priorities for collective action and to strengthen the Coalition’s connections, collaborations and campaigns, and progress was made in the elaboration of a Collective Action Plan.

Within this framework, some global advocacy goals were selected, such as strengthening gender work and development finance or monitoring Chinese funding for development projects. Specific institutional focuses were also established, such as the New BRICS Development Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank.

More information

– Coalition’s Impact Report 2016

– Web page of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development


Juan Carballo / Executive Director of FUNDEPS


“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


Last Wednesday, August 30, at the annual meeting of the Network of Independent Accountability Mechanisms(IAMNet) held this year in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, a roundtable discussion between representatives of the mechanisms and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working on accountability agendas, including FUNDEPS. At the same time, a public outreach event was held to present the work of the IAMNet Network and the characteristics and mandates of the main accountability mechanisms of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), Inspection of the World Bank, the MICI of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB Group) or the CAO of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), among others.

For their part, the CSOs that participated in the event addressed opportunities and challenges in accountability in the IFIs and the work that has been done from civil society in accountability.

At the round table, a technical discussion was held around a key question regarding the function of this type of mechanism: “Can Dispute Resolution be compatible with Rights?”. Recall that most of the IFIs’ independent accountability mechanisms have a dispute resolution function for complaints from communities affected by projects funded by these financial institutions. In that regard, the current problems of the dispute resolution process were discussed in the way it is currently being developed; and sought to address what an effective rights-based dispute resolution process should be, and what their outcomes should be.

On the other hand, in the days leading up to and after the aforementioned event, strategic meetings of two working groups were held that address issues and agendas related to our work at Fundeps. On 28 and 29 August the annual meeting of the EuroIFI network was held and on 31 August a strategic meeting of the IAWG (International Advocates Working Group) working group, of which we are part. The EuroIFI Network is an informal network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that focus their work on IFIs such as the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Monetary Fund, among others. The IAWG is a network of NGOs around the world that share information, lessons learned, best practices and strategies around accountability mechanisms; and supports communities that complain to these mechanisms.

Our participation in these three events has been very useful, not only because we were able to share information and experiences in terms of accountability with key players in this agenda, but also because it has enabled us to know and acquire more information regarding specific cases of presentation of complaints to this kind of mechanisms. Moreover, in view of our work on accountability mechanisms, and in particular in relation to the ICIM and the advice we are giving to communities in Córdoba and Bolivia regarding the possible submission of complaints to the ICIM.

More information

– Network of Independent Accountability Mechanisms

– Video on the IAMnet network

– MICI website

– Inspection Panel website

– CAO website

– Glass Half Full. The state of accountability in development finance – Enero de 2016


Gonzalo Roza / Coordinador del Área de Gobernabilidad Global


The project “Centro Ambiental Carlos Paz” presents serious irregularities and violates environmental regulations and participation. It would affect Lake San Roque and would not be a definitive regional solution to the historical problem related to the integral management of solid urban waste.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

 In the province of Cordoba, our officials continue to fail to provide an adequate and committed response to the problem of solid urban waste management. As in the elaboration of many other public policies deaf ears are made to the recommendations of science, technology and the needs of the citizens.

The management of urban solid waste is considered one of the main environmental problems of our society. And as a consequence of this, Argentina has an Integrated Management Program for Urban Solid Waste (GIRSU) -AR-L1151 financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The Program finances works for the integral management of urban solid waste (MSW) and the recovery of degraded areas due to the poor disposition of such residues. The total cost of the program is 150 million dollars within the same is the Environmental Center Villa Carlos Paz, whose name is already biased since it would be more accurate to talk about a landfill. A landfill is a place destined to the final disposition of trash, in which multiple measures are taken to reduce the impacts to the environment. In short, it seeks to reduce and isolate waste and develop mechanisms to treat liquids and gases produced by the decomposition of organic matter.

The questioned Environmental Center Villa Carlos Paz pretends to be a landfill where there is now an open dump. The autoconvocado neighborhood group, opposes the construction of the landfill in the selected place and approved by the Secretariat of Environment and Climate Change of Cordoba. Since the beginning of this year we are working together with neighbors and neighbors of the area. The reasons why we require the relocation of this project of more than 200 million pesos are varied. The guidelines of science and technology have not been followed for the elaboration and construction of this type of works and are violating environmental norms and citizen participation.

First, the environmental impact study (EIA) presents inconsistencies.

* Probable outdated baseline studies: There is a high probability of a mismatch of baseline description of water quality, soil, air as a function of the behavior of natural and environmental variables and impacts evaluated . The exact date of its elaboration is not known, but the EIA was presented by TecnoMak S.A. On March 30, 2015, had an opinion of the Technical Interdisciplinary Committee on February 29, 2016 and was submitted to a public hearing on April 6 of that year. In this context, both for the instance of citizen participation and for the execution of the work, the study was done in a context that is not the current one.

* Lack of clarity on the basis for the selection of the location of the work: it is objectionable the justification of the choice of the farm to carry out the works. To carry out the project TecnoMak S.A. Considered three possible properties, however it is unknown the fundamentals by which it was chosen for its location in the building of the current open dump. Neither are the reasons why the other two alternatives were ruled out.

* Possible impacts to the lake and a reserve: The situation is aggravated by the fact that it is intended to build a few meters from Lake San Roque on land that may have a greater propensity to seep or leach into the water and adjoining a protected natural area Natural Reserve La Calera).

* Use of outdated census data: The EIA uses data from the 2008 national population census, with one being carried out in 2010, which shows considerable changes in the number of inhabitants of the area.

Secondly, the resolutions of the administration that establish the useful life of the project are not clear. The first opinion of the Interdisciplinary Technical Commission of the Environment Secretariat (February 29, 2016) suggests that “the draft module for the final disposal of MSW will be maximum for a use of six years.” It also recommends that the use of the module for the final disposal of RSU receives only the waste from the town of Villa Carlos Paz. Following the public hearing held on April 6, 2016, and without public prefeasibility studies, a second opinion of the ITC decided to extend the useful life of the project to twenty years, as well as the number of communes reached To the towns of Villa Río Icho Cruz, Mayu Sumaj, Cuesta Blanca, Tala Huasi, Cabalango and Malagueño. In summary, the reasons for which this decision was taken are not known, the plane with the exact coordinates where the Landfill and the total number of projected modules.

Thirdly, the right to participation of citizens living within the area of ​​influence of the project was affected. The art. 67 of Law 10,208 establishes that the public hearing process must be carried out in the area of ​​influence of the project and open participation. In this case, the public hearing was convened only in Villa Carlos Paz (Department of Punilla), and one of the areas most affected by the proximity of the property is the municipality of Malagueño, belonging to the Department of Santa Maria. In addition, the possibility of convening a popular consultation was not foreseen, considering the possible categorization of the project as having a high environmental complexity (article 68, law 10,208).

This alarming project has an environmental license approved by the Ministry of Environment of the Province, and the EIA has not been prepared in strict compliance with the current regulatory framework. Socio-environmental conflict is imminent and works can begin at any time.

The excessive growth in the volume of waste in today’s society is endangering the capacity of nature to maintain our needs and those of future generations. Population and consumption grow, and as a consequence, also the amount of garbage we generate. The problem is that the space does not grow and that we are not giving the right treatment.

We have submitted requests for information to the Secretary of Environment of the Province of Córdoba, the Municipality of Malagueño and the Municipality of Villa Carlos Paz. In addition, on May 8, we approached a note to IDB officials in Argentina responsible for following up on the program by letting us know about these concerns.

We demand transparency, accountability and coherence in government acts. We need integral and long-term solutions for the integral management of solid urban waste. Our officials are obliged to comply with current standards and to ensure that human rights and the environment are respected. It is not possible to make decisions democratically at any cost and regardless of the conditions.

More information


Male Martinez, malemartinez@fundeps.org

María Victoria Gerbaldo, victoriagerbaldo@fundeps.org

Representatives of civil society and native communities participated in the workshop in the city of Bogotá (Colombia). The result was the elaboration of an agenda that complements the territorial demands of the affected communities with the proposals raised from civil society and the academy.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

On May 17 and 18, the workshop was organized by the Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure and the Regional Coalition for Transparency and Participation. The workshop sought to strengthen the joint action of civil society (communities, movements and social organizations, national and local) that are being affected by projects financed by Chinese banking and what monitor the social and environmental impacts of these investments in Latin America.

Topics related to the social and environmental policies currently implemented by Chinese institutions, the analysis of Chinese funding in the region, the projects to which it is intended and the identification of the impacts of these projects on the environment and human rights were addressed. We attended civil society representatives from Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and representatives of native and peasant communities.

We emphasize the alarming situation of environmental defenders in Chinese investment contexts in countries of the region, who are not only criminalized for the defense of their collective rights but also lack the protection of the State . We succeeded in strengthening the Continental Alliance to follow up on Chinese investments to face the geopolitical strategy that seeks to maintain the constant export model of raw materials in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Those of us participating in the workshop agree that weakening the environmental and social frameworks of the region does not guarantee respect for the rights of the communities involved in the area of ​​influence of the projects that are financed by Chinese banks. Added to this is the non-binding nature of the Chinese banking guidelines. The non-existence of protection at the national level and at the level of multilateral banking puts the communities that are being affected by the investment at risk.

As a result of the Workshop, an advocacy agenda was drawn up that brings together and complements the territorial demands of the affected communities with the reform proposals put forward by civil society and academia. In this regard, at the international level, new standards for companies and Chinese banking are proposed that guarantee compliance, greater participation and effective consultation processes; At the national level, a joint strategy that will reverse the weakening of socio-environmental legislation and provide guarantees of equitable access to justice for environmental defenders.

More information


María Victoria Gerbaldo, victoriagerbaldo@fundeps.org

The past 2016 was a year of great growth for our foundation, not only for the development of our many agendas of work, but also for the consolidation of our team of volunteers.

We further diversified our work agendas, we were able to increase our social impact, we were able to position ourselves in networks and we increased the collaboration with new partners.

As we did year after year, we continue to conduct research, workshops and events; We participate in national and international meetings with multiple organizations; We carry out activities of monitoring, advocacy and judicial cases to advance in matters of public policies.

We thank all those who participated and trusted in FUNDEPS. We hope that in 2017 we will continue to find and work together in pursuit of our main objective: to continue to grow and influence public policies.

We invite you to read the result of a great year of work, by clicking on our 2016 report at the following link bit.ly/FUNDEPS2016; Or on our website in the “About Fundeps” section.

From April 18 to 22, the World Bank’s spring meetings were held in Washington. On April 20 we presented a panel on the legal framework of Public-Private Partnership Projects and Infrastructure Projects in Latin America with the NGOs that make up GREFI.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


Spring meetings of the World Bank are being held in Washington, DC from April 18 to 22. On April 20 we presented a panel on the legal framework of Public-Private Partnership Projects and Infrastructure Projects in Latin America with the NGOs that make up GREFI.

From April 18 to 22, the Spring Meetings of the World Bank took place in Washington. These meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (GBM) meet annually with central bank authorities, finance and development ministers, private sector executives and representatives of academic circles.

The aim is to discuss issues of global concern, such as the global economic outlook, the end of poverty, economic development and aid effectiveness. In addition, seminars, regional briefings, press conferences and many other activities focusing on the world economy, international development and the global financial system are organized.

Within this framework and within the Civil Society Policy Forum, we will be presenting, together with the NGOs that make up the Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure, a panel on the legal framework of Public-Private Partnership Projects and Infrastructure Projects in Latin America. Martha Torres Marcos-Ibanez of Law, Environment and Natural Resources will moderate the panel. The exhibitors will be Vanessa Torres from Environment and Society Association, María José Romero from Eurodad, Nancy Alexander from Heinrich Boell Foundation and Heike Mainhardt from Bank Information Center (BIC).

Public-private partnership (PPP) projects have gained a key role in the development of infrastructure projects in Latin America. In this context, the legal framework of PPPs has been deepened in several countries of the region in order to improve and promote the use of this form of investment in the implementation of mega projects in Latin America. It is becoming more common to see how the private sector is taking on the responsibilities and duties of the state alone, and the best example is the provision of public services and the development of infrastructure. In this regard, PPPs have been used by governments as a powerful tool to boost the economy through increased infrastructure development and as a mechanism to bridge the infrastructure gap. This panel intends to report on the legal framework of PPPs in Latin America, more precisely in Peru and Colombia. The legal instruments used by the private sector and the State will be developed to implement the PPPs and will focus on the gaps in the legal framework that generate environmental and social risks in the implementation of infrastructure projects under APP.

On 20 April, we also moderated a panel on accountability mechanisms in financial institutions. We also participated in meetings with the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Inter-American Investment Corporation.

More information



Juan Carballo – juanmcarballo@fundeps.org

The Bank Group of Thun published a document about the implications of the UN Guiding Principles for corporate and investment banking. A group of civil society organizations publicly criticise these statements.

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Faced with the risks involved in the Thun Group document, a group of civil society organizations issued an open letter criticizing many of the issues raised in that document. We signed the letter 34 academic and civil society organizations from 17 countries, including BankTrack, SOMO, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Global Witness and OECD Watch.

The Thun Group document develops a conceptual framework for the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights for banks in a context of corporate and investment banking. This document misrepresents principle 13.

The letter requests that the Thun Group demonstrate that it is prepared to participate in the OECD Proactive Agenda Project in good faith by amending the document they have issued and making it clear that it recognizes and respects the advice of the Office of the High Commissioner for United Nations for Human Rights.

The guiding principles are a set of guidelines agreed upon by the international community as a guideline that guides both States in their work to protect human rights and companies in their duty to respect them. This work was led by Professor Ruggie. These principles were adopted unanimously in 2011 by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

In this context, on 21 February, Professor Ruggie of Harvard responded strongly to the Thun Group document. He is “deeply concerned” by the document and raises similar points to those of the open letter. “They can undermine attempts by banks and others to fulfill their responsibility to respect human rights.” In addition, he adds that:

“It is a good example that a group of large banks are doing important work on the application of UNGPs to their sector. But I am afraid that misinterpretation of the basic elements of UNGPs and their implications in this document can seriously damage I would urge the Group to reflect on these issues and consider the possibility of issuing a future document more in line with the basic elements of the UNGPs.”

On 23 February, the coordinator of the United Nations Working Group promoting the implementation of the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights also responded by inviting Thun Group banks to review the document “to align it with UNGPs” The Working Group considers that the discussion paper offers some useful practical considerations for banks in certain situations where they may be directly linked to the effects of human rights through the financial products or services they provide to third parties , Which may contribute or cause a human rights conflict abuse.

“The efforts of the Thun Group to explore the practical implications of the UNGPs are welcome … However, these instruments of practice that seek to interpret the meaning of UNGPs in a sector-specific context should be subject to a consultation process And review by other stakeholders in order to ensure accuracy, soundness and legitimacy. “

The Working Group believes that if not addressed, this can cause unnecessary confusion on UNGPs, which may undermine attempts by banks and others to fulfill their responsibility to respect human rights. It should be noted that the discussion paper of the Thun Group was approved by Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse AG, Deutsche Bank, ING, JPMorgan, RBS, Standard Chartered, UBS Group AG and UniCredit.

On 28 February Christian Leitz on behalf of the Thun Group responded to the CSO group, Professor John Ruggie and the UN Working Group. He claims to be trying to generate a constructive discussion between banks and other interested parties but has not indicated any willingness to revise the document. And it hopes to continue with stakeholders in upcoming multi-stakeholder forums by discussing the document.

A meeting open to all signatories of the letter is scheduled for 19 June where a broader dialogue with the Thun Group will take place. Professor Ruggie has said he will consider participating in this meeting if they retracted the premise that banks can not contribute to damage through their relationships with customers.

In the counter response, civil society organizations express two concerns about the June meeting. On the one hand, define a stakeholder engagement strategy as promised by the Thun Group at its last public meeting. And secondly, that you withdraw and reconsider your recent document.

From FUNDEPS we follow this process and we expect a change in the response that has given the Thun Group. The Guiding Principles on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights were created to “protect, respect and remedy” human rights, and we expect cooperation from states, private sectors and civil society to fulfill their commitments.

More information

Thun Group of Banks releases new Discussion Paper on implications of UN Guiding Principles for corporate & investment banking; commentaries provided

Leading banks under fire for misrepresenting human rights responsibilities


Victoria Gerbaldo / Encargada de Proyectos del Área de Gobernabilidad Global