Tag Archive for: Global Governance

We participate in the face-to-face public consultation of the IDB Invest in the framework of the revision of its Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy.

“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”

Within the framework of the public consultations that the IDB Invest is conducting on the draft of its new Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy, we participate in the face-to-face public consultation held last Tuesday, September 4 at the headquarters of the IDB Argentina in the city of Buenos Aires. The IDB Invest is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, better known as the IDB Group. It is a multilateral development bank with the purpose of promoting the economic development of the member countries of the region through investment in the private sector. That is, while the IDB is responsible for public sector investment, the IDB Invest invests in private sector projects.

Thus, in June of this year the IDB Invest began the public consultation to review the draft of its new policy of environmental and social safeguards; review that would last for 120 days. The objective of conducting a public consultation is due to the relevance of establishing a dialogue with interested parties to make suggestions for the new policy. Thus, virtual and face-to-face consultations have been carried out or will be carried out not only in Argentina but also in other countries such as Colombia, Jamaica, Panama or the United States.

According to the consultation plan announced by the Bank, once the public consultations have been finalized and a new draft has been prepared, it will be submitted to the Executive Board for approval, giving rise to the new Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy, replacing the policy of 2013. However, one of the main complaints heard in public consultations by a wide range of civil society organizations and indigenous communities, was the need for the Bank to open a second draft for public consultation. of the policy, in order to identify how the recommendations and suggestions made during public consultations were incorporated.

Additionally, Fundeps together with a group of organizations in the region raised the need, among other things, to: Include two areas of expansion beyond the 8 Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), in particular, a Performance Standard related to gender and, second, another for the participation of stakeholders and communities. In turn, the need was also raised not to dilute responsibilities in the supervision of the implementation of the safeguards; and that the new policy should be guided by the principle of “generating benefits” beyond the idea of ​​”not causing harm” as the policy currently proposes.

More information

IDB and IDB Invest review their environmental and social policies – Fundeps Web page on the Consultation on the Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy of the IDB Invest


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

On August 21, we made requests for information on the finished work of the trunk pipelines of the province of Córdoba to different units of the province of Córdoba.

On the occasion of the completion, in the course of 2019, of the work of trunk pipelines that began to be planned more than ten years ago, we made requests for information to the Córdoba Investment and Financing Agency (ACIF), the Ministry of Water, Environment and Public Services and the Ministry of Public Works and Financing.

With this work, according to the government of the province, the gas network reached almost 98% of Cordoba, however, there are a number of issues around the project that are not yet fully clarified.

Despite being completed, issues such as the lack of access to information on the control of the progress of the project, such as the lack of precision about the funders of each of the systems has been controversial and confusing. Although it could be observed that the communication on the progress in the work by the provincial government was constant, the same did not happen with access to more specific and sensitive issues related to the project.

From Fundeps we have carried out periodic monitoring and monitoring of the project, even though the official information has been scarce and difficult to access: requests for information we previously made were never answered. With these new requests made we hope that the modalities in the access of provincial information have been modified in a positive way in order to achieve a more transparent and open government to society.

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Sofia Brocanelli


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

Both the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and its private arm, the IDB Invest, have recently opened the process for reviewing their environmental and social safeguards policies. It is important that Latin American civil society and, above all, communities affected by the projects financed by these institutions, participate actively in the public consultation process, either by sending virtual comments or by participating in face-to-face consultations that will be held in different cities of the region. Here, 5 key points to consider about the review processes.

“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”.

Why is the review given?

Following the recommendation made by the IDB Office of Evaluation and Supervision (OVE) in its Evaluation of Environmental and Social Safeguards, the IDB Executive Board approved, on July 2, 2019, the launch of the process to “modernize” its policies environmental and social, which seek to ensure that potentially negative environmental and social impacts are properly evaluated, managed and mitigated in IDB operations. According to the IDB itself: “there is a need to update and integrate a policy framework for environmental and social risk management, so it seeks to develop an integrated Social Environmental Policy Framework, aligned with international standards and best practices.” In this way, the IDB follows the steps recently taken by other Multilateral Development Banks, such as the World Bank.

On the other hand, the IDB Invest (formerly Inter-American Investment Corporation -CII-), the IDB’s private arm, began updating its Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy last June. According to the Bank, the purpose of the review is to establish “a single framework of standards that customers must meet instead of using multiple third-party standards. The update process includes a review of current trends and best practices related to environmental and social sustainability, including those designed by other international financial institutions (IFIs) operating in the private sector. ” In practice, following OVE recommendations, the IDB Invest seeks that borrowers adhere to the IFC Performance Standards, which are widely recognized and already applied by IDB Invest borrowers, and references to other standards removed. from third parties.

What does the review include?

In the case of the IDB, the review includes the five independent policies that make up the environmental and social safeguards:

  • Environment and Safeguards Compliance Policy (OP-703) of 2006
  • Policy on Disaster Risk Management (OP-704) of 2007
  • Involuntary Resettlement Policy (OP-710) of 1998
  • Gender Equality in Development Policy (OP-761) of 2010
  • Indigenous Peoples Policy (OP-765) of 2006

So far, the IDB has prepared a Policy Profile on the Modernization of Environmental and Social Policies.

In the case of IDB Invest, the review is only of its:

  • Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy, effective since 2013.

And a Draft of the new Policy has been published, which is under public consultation.

When are the consultations carried out?
In the case of the IDB, on July 2, 2019, the Executive Board approved the launch of the modernization process and subsequently published the Policy Profile. The draft policy framework is expected to be submitted to the Executive Board at the end of October 2019 for public consultation. The stage of preparation for the modernization process would culminate in the development of the Environmental and Social Policy Framework (MPAS) in September 2020. The MPAS would be implemented as of 2021.

As for the IDB Invest, a Consultation Plan has been published with the basic information about the process, which basically consists of:

1. Making the Policy Draft available to the public.

2. Digital and face-to-face public consultations open for 120 days (as of June 17, 2019).

3. Consultations in person at:

  • Colombia (September 4),
  • Argentina (September 4),
  • Jamaica (September 6),
  • Panama (September 6) and
  • Washington, D.C. (September, 10th)

4. Virtual consultation session at:

  • Spanish (September 12),
  • English (September 12),
  • Portuguese (September 13).

5. Making the comments received and attended available to the public.

After conducting the public consultation, the IDB Invest will submit to the Executive Board the final draft of the Policy for final approval, after which a plan for its implementation will be established and executed.

Why is it important to participate?

For several reasons, it is necessary that civil society, citizens and, above all, indigenous communities and communities affected or potentially affected by IDB or IDB Invest operations actively participate in this process, contributing their experience and its recommendations and suggestions regarding the environmental and social safeguards of the institutions.

First, because both the IDB and the IDB Invest are, today and despite the diversification of financial actors operating in the region, key actors in financing for development in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the Bank itself: in 2018, with a historical amount of US $ 17,000 million approvals, the IDB and the IDB Invest were consolidated as the main source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB approved a total of 96 sovereign guaranteed loan projects for a total financing of more than US $ 13.4 billion, and disbursed more than US $ 9.9 billion. In turn, 2018 was a record year for IDB Invest, with approvals of US $ 4,000 million, 26% more in volume and 21% more in number of transactions than the previous year. The IDB Invest extended its support to sectors such as infrastructure and Fintech, adding to education, tourism, water and sanitation, transport and energy. In the case of Argentina, the IDB has historically been the main multilateral partner for the country’s development, with an average of recent annual approvals of US $ 1,360 million. The current active portfolio with the public sector is 54 operations for an approved amount of US $ 9,206.4 million and an unpaid balance of US $ 3,874.7 million, according to the information provided by the Bank itself.

Second, because a robust and effective system of environmental and social safeguards is key to avoiding the impacts at the socio-environmental level that, in many cases, bring infrastructure projects financed by institutions such as the IDB or the IDB Invest. When the design, application or implementation of environmental and social safeguards fails in these types of projects, the impacts and consequences especially in the communities involved are often complex, and unfortunately in many cases, irreversible. Cases such as Camisea in Peru or Hidroituango in Colombia reflect the bitter consequences of the bad, or even the lack of application of socio-environmental safeguards in projects financed by the IDB Group

Third, because an active, informed, responsible and coordinated participation by the key members of civil society and the indigenous and affected communities of the region would contribute to the objective of avoiding a possible (and latent) dilution of the system of environmental and social safeguards from both the IDB and the IDB Invest. Recent experiences of dilution of environmental and social regulatory frameworks after review and “modernization” processes not only in related institutions such as the World Bank or the International Finance Corporation (IFC), but also in the national regulatory systems of the countries of The region clearly reflects a trend that the IDB Group seems not to want to escape.

How to participate?

Actors interested in participating in the review process of the IDB or IDB Invest safeguards can do so in different ways and through multiple channels:

For the IDB review:
The Bank offers two ways to participate in the consultation process.

Initial consultation stage: before developing the new Framework for Environmental and Social Policies, the IDB held two face-to-face workshops in Washington, DC (August 8 and 12) to analyze the lessons learned from the implementation of environmental and social policies existing.

Consultations in person on the proposed new environmental and social policy framework (dates and places have not yet been disclosed): the IDB will hold consultative meetings in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, at the IDB headquarters in Washington, DC , and in other member countries.

Those who want to stay updated about the review process can register on this link provided by the Bank.

  • For the IDB Invest review:

IDB Invest also offers virtual and face-to-face instances to participate in the review process of its Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy.

Virtual or written comments can be sent to the SustainabilityPolicy@idbinvest.org email or through the mail addressed to: IDB Invest: Environmental and social sustainability policy. 1350 New York Avenue, NW. Washington, D.C., 20577. USA.

To participate in face-to-face consultations in some of the indicated countries, it is possible to register at the following link provided by the Bank.

In Argentina: The face-to-face consultation in Argentina on the proposal of the Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy of the IDB Invest will be held next Wednesday, September 4 from 09:00 am to 11:00 am at the IDB headquarters in Argentina, located in Calle Esmeralda 130, 11th floor, Buenos Aires.

In addition: those interested in knowing more about how to participate effectively in the consultations, can register to participate in the webinar “Review of IDB Invest safeguards, how to participate effectively?” Organized by DAR, Environment and Society and the Bank Information Center (BIC) by entering this link.

Fundeps, together with a group of organizations in the region, is coordinating actions to promote broad, inclusive and effective participation of civil society and indigenous peoples and affected communities in both the IDB and IDB Invest review process; and to try to strengthen and avoid a weakening of environmental and social safeguards. If you are interested in getting involved in this process, you can contact gon.roza@fundeps.org.

More information


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

In January 2019, and after more than 10 years since the project began to be planned, the Government of the Province of Córdoba terminated the works of the trunk gas pipelines. Despite the obvious benefits of the project, it is worth asking about the true balance left by the experience of this project, especially in terms of transparency and accountability in public policies.

“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”.

At the beginning of 2019, with the authorization of the last supply branch and the pressure regulating plant in Tala Cañada (Pocho), the Government of the province of Córdoba concluded the controversial project for the construction of the trunk pipeline network. According to the government, the gas network thus reached almost 98% of Cordoba people; Although it is clear that the vast majority of industries and neighbors benefiting from the work do not yet have effective access to the service, since the problem of connecting to home and internal networks remains to be resolved.

With the work completed, the axis then moved to the need to connect the backbone networks with the home networks, so that families and businesses can effectively access the benefit. The company Ecogas and the municipalities are responsible for bringing the gas network to private homes, for which they will receive financial support from the province. While the Bank of Córdoba made available a line of credit -Dale Gas! – at zero interest rate and with a return of 48 months for the home gas installation; The provincial government launched a financing plan so that companies can connect to the network. This plan called «Connect Gas Industry» contains three lines of credit for businesses, SMEs, industrial parks, CNG stations and tourist establishments.

A controversial work

This work, according to data handled by the provincial government, benefits 973,490 Cordoba in 228 locations. Some populations will receive natural gas for the first time and, in other locations, the service will reinforce the existing one. However, despite the obvious benefits of the work, the project of gasification of towns in the interior of the province of Córdoba has been the focus of various controversies and has been under the watchful eye of public opinion since its inception. Thus, for example, as regards the financing of the work, the reasons for the fall in financing of both BNDES at first, and of Chinese banks later, were never officially clarified; and the provincial government’s decision to move forward with the work using public indebtedness generated controversy.

Similarly, the lack of access to information to control the progress of the project has been a constant throughout the entire execution process. Additionally, the project has been investigated for alleged acts of corruption in the bidding of the sections to be built, even being mentioned in the Lava Jato case in Brazil from the participation of the Odebrecht company in the works.

Thus, for example, in February 2018, the legislators of the opposition to the provincial Government, Juan Pablo Quinteros, Aurelio García Elorrio and Liliana Montero, filed a complaint with the Financial Information Unit (FIU) regarding the possible payment of charges for the work of the trunk pipelines. This follows from the kidnapping of the list of coimas paid to different governments of the continent belonging to the Brazilian banker Alberto Youssef, where he names at least four times the work in question. This list served as a tool for Brazilian investigators of the Lava Jato cause to prove the existence of a public works club made up of Odebrecht, Andrade Gutiérrez, OAS, Camargo Correa and other construction companies. According to the complainants, a 36 million dollar premium would have been paid. Also, they argue that the collection was made through the session of a real estate project in Puerto Madero (Buenos Aires) to a company of the Horacio Miró group, former official of the administration of José Manuel de la Sota. This accusation was denied by the businessmen involved.

In mid-2018, the possibility that Argentina will reach an agreement with Brazil so that Argentine judges can access the information present in the Lava Jato investigation generated great expectations in Córdoba. The causes for alleged corruption offenses in public works in our country would have the possibility to move forward through the use of this information. This agreement generated expectation given the denunciation for the alleged payment of coimates for 36 million dollars to the company of the Horacio Miró group. In this regard, the administrations of the former governor of La Sota and the current one, Juan Schiaretti, denied all kinds of accusations. This complaint is currently under the responsibility of Prosecutor 1 of the Anti-Corruption jurisdiction, which is based on data provided by Brazil.

However, the scandal caused by the irruption of the cause of the notebooks in August 2018 hit several of the companies involved in the construction of the trunk pipelines. From the provincial government they clarified that all tenders were carried out transparently. Among the companies involved and that have works in progress in the province of Córdoba is Electroengineering, allied with the Chinese company Petroleum Pipeline Boreau for the construction of 30% of the trunk gas pipelines. In addition, there is the Albanesi Group that through Generación Mediterráneo S.A. It owns the Modesto Maranzana thermoelectric plant located in Río Cuarto. Also, the company Iecsa (now Sacde) in charge of the sections of the gas pipelines in the provincial interior in partnership with the Chinese company Communications Construction Company (CCC). Finally, BTU and Esuco companies have also carried out pipeline works in Córdoba.

Positive or negative balance?

In short, after more than a decade of marches and counter-marches, trunk pipelines are finally a reality. What has been the largest infrastructure work in Córdoba in recent times leaves us, without doubt, a positive balance in relation to the potential benefits of the work. It will allow access to natural gas not only to thousands of citizens and hundreds of localities in Cordoba; but also to numerous industries, SMEs and businesses in the interior of the Province that will be able to boost their activity and productivity from access to the gas network. However, if we analyze the project from the point of view of transparency and accountability that must necessarily surround any work that has public funds for its realization; The balance is undoubtedly negative.

In that sense, we will continue monitoring the progress of the next stages of the work. Also trying to obtain more information about the details of its realization, the real reasons for the fall of the financing of the Chinese banks and the participation of Odebrecht in the project and its link with the Lava Jato cause, for which we are preparing requests for information which will be referred to the provincial administration.

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Mariano Camoletto

Gonzalo Roza


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

At the fourth session of the United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group on Business and Human Rights, different actors presented their comments and proposals on the ‘zero’ draft of the legally binding international instrument. Fundeps made recommendations and questions about certain axes of the draft, relevant to guarantee the fulfillment of human rights by transnational companies. Based on the comments made, on July 17, the Intergovernmental Working Group presented the new Revised Draft.

“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 2014, the UN Human Rights Council issued two resolutions, one of which ordered the establishment of an intergovernmental working group responsible for developing a binding treaty on business and human rights. The second resolution, of the same year, requested the UN working group to prepare a report containing the benefits and limitations of legally binding instruments.

From there, the work group sessions began. The first one was held in 2016 and the second in 2017, where Ecuador presented the document ‘Elements for the Legally Binding International Instrument Project on Transnational Corporations and other companies with respect to Human Rights’. In these sessions, the intergovernmental working group focused on improving the content, scope, nature and form of the potential international instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other companies in the fulfillment and respect of human rights.

In the third session, in 2018, the working group published the Zero Zero Draft ’of the Binding Treaty; The elements for preparing a draft of a legally binding instrument were discussed taking into account the discussions held in the first two sessions.

Last year, in the fourth session, calls for comments and proposals were made on the draft of the binding treaty. The presentations were made by some States such as Chile, Colombia and the Philippines, non-governmental organizations with consultative status and other stakeholders such as civil society organizations, including Fundeps. The document on the ‘zero’ draft, presented by the foundation, is divided into general and specific comments.

The general comments made by Fundeps cover different aspects that have not been taken into account in the document and that are extremely relevant to ensure that transnational corporations guarantee and respect human rights. Among the comments, the absence in the Treaty of commercial activities that are supported by the States, the high relevance given to the remedy of damages and rights of the victims that, although it is extremely positive, are even more necessary a priori are measures prevention to prevent companies from violating human rights. With prevention there would be no need to remedy any damage caused since these would not exist if they were well regulated.

On the other hand, the draft Treaty only establishes a binding component for the States, but companies are not given responsibility. Therefore, not only does it not make them obliged subjects, which was the initial idea, but they will respond before the laws that the States implement in this matter. In addition, the creation of a court or other institution that has the capacity to judge and penalize the actions of transnational corporations is absent.

Finally, in the general comments of Fundeps, the absence of the sections on ‘corporate obligations’, ‘state obligations’ and the obligations of international organizations, which are fundamental elements to guarantee the fulfillment of rights, is highlighted Humans versus business activity.

Specific comments were made in accordance with the sections of the draft. According to the preamble, it is recommended to include the relationship with other international conventions and recognize ‘Corporate Capture’ as a global issue that undermines human rights. In addition, the absence of guiding principles on business and human rights as an immediate precedent of the treaty is questioned. , as well as the lack of recognition of the danger situation of human rights defenders. Regarding the purpose of the Treaty, it is recommended that the purpose of the document should be the guarantee of human rights and incorporate as an objective of the addressed the resolution of power imbalances between corporations and affected communities.

Finally, in Prevention, the componente Gender ’and conflict of interest component should be incorporated into all due diligence measures. In addition, these measures must ensure transparency in the interactions of transnational corporations with state authorities, and the protection of human rights defenders through specific and reinforced protection mechanisms.

New Draft: progress?

The Intergovernmental Working Group, in charge of drafting the document, has made progress in its development. Consequently, on July 17 they presented the Revised Draft of the binding treaty to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other commercial companies regarding human rights. This version was made according to the recommendations and comments proposed by the different actors convened in the fourth session last year. This draft will be discussed in the fifth session, which will take place between October 14 and 18 of this year.

At first glance, the new draft of the binding treaty has modified the formulation, which, in the words of Hood and Hughes-Jennett, is rather ambiguous. Thus, in Article 3 of the draft, its application has been extended to “all commercial activities”, that is, it will no longer be limited to those of a transnational nature. However, the definition developed in Article 1 on commercial activities leaves those that are purely national in scope of the treaty. A positive development in the project has been the elimination of the requirement that commercial activity should be limited to all those that were carried out “for profit”.

On the other hand, the new Article 6 of the draft treaty incorporates a new provision where States will have responsibility for not preventing damage that the party with whom they have a contractual relationship has caused third parties, regardless of where the damage occurs ( Hood & Hughes-Jennett, 2019).

From the perspective of due diligence, an improvement in the draft has been observed, since the States are not only obliged to regulate commercial companies within their territory where they are obliged to respect and prevent violations of DD.HH .; now in the project it is clarified that the legislation must be introduced to make the due diligence of human rights mandatory and, in addition, companies must be obliged to acquire the appropriate measures to prevent violations or abuses of human rights. It represents a breakthrough because it means a convergence with the UN Guiding Principles (Hood & Hughes-Jennett, 2019).

With regard to legal-criminal liability, the Revised Draft has eliminated the provision on universal jurisdiction and instead has incorporated a new provision that establishes the jurisdiction of territorial, active and passive nationality. Therefore, the states will be disabled to exercise jurisdiction in those behaviors that do not constitute a criminal offense, in accordance with international law in situations where there is no conventional jurisdictional link with the crime (Hood & Hughes-Jennett, 2019) .

Consequently, we must wait and observe the decisions that occur in the fifth session on the Revised Draft. While the incorporation of some recommendations and a closeness to the Guiding Principles on business and human rights is observed, there is still a shortening of distances between the Revised Draft and the Guiding Principles; since these have been the initial kick representing a fundamental advance in the normative criteria on the responsibility and the accountability of the transnational companies. There are still issues that are not clearly defined in the revised draft, which means that transnational corporations continue without being fully obliged to respect and guarantee Human Rights.

Más información:


Sofia Brocanelli


Gonzalo Roza gon.roza@fundeps.org



We participated in a workshop organized by the review mechanism of the Green Climate Fund accounts to inform us about the mandate of that institution and discuss ways of interacting with civil society.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the financial institutions for climate within the architecture created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In order to promote a change in the paradigm towards the reduction of emissions and development compatible with the environment, it provides financial support for adaptation projects and mitigation of the effects of climate change. Its objective is to be the main operating entity within the financial mechanism of the Convention, in addition to projecting itself as the central institution in the global climate finance plan.

To make the work and operation of GFC more known, the Independent Repair Mechanism (IRM) convened civil society organizations in Santiago, Chile, on May 30 and 31. In the case of the IRM, it has only been functioning for 2 years and has had only three case presentations, so it was also an opportunity to discuss the future interactions of the mechanism with potential cases and with civil society.

Among the issues mentioned by the organizations are the dangers for human rights defenders, the difficulties in implementing remediation plans, the impact of projects on communities and on the rights of indigenous peoples, gender issues within the projects and the claims. In this way, ways to operate from the mechanism to address these concerns were also discussed

More information

Green Climate Fund

Independent Repair Mechanism


Carolina Tamagnini


Gonzalo Roza,  gon.roza@fundeps.org

This working document details the main features of the recently created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), addressing its structure, operation and current funded projects and the role played by China in its institutionalization.

During the month of April, Fundeps organized the annual retirement of the International Advocates Working Group (IAWG) in the city of Villa General Belgrano. Over three days, 30 IAWG members met to share information, experiences and lessons learned about non-judicial accountability mechanisms in international financial institutions (IFIs).

“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”.

The IAWG is a global network of civil society organizations and individuals that work to ensure that IFI complaints mechanisms ensure accountability and effective remedies to affected communities. This working group focuses on working with the mechanisms, while providing support to communities negatively impacted by IFI projects.

The grievance mechanisms associated with these institutions offer an important, and sometimes, only option for affected communities seeking accountability from IFIs or from companies that receive IFI financing.

Over the past 4 years, the IAWG meets almost annually for its members to share experiences and lessons learned around working with non-judicial complaint mechanisms. During the days of the retreat, joint actions are discussed and planned to ensure that the work of the mechanisms is as transparent and accessible as possible for those wishing to make complaints.


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

On April 22 in the auditorium of the Nueva Córdoba headquarters of the 21st Century University, Fundeps organized a discussion on investments for development and human rights in Latin America.

During the last years, the Latin American region has been the scene of exponential growth of large development projects. For this reason, from Fundeps together with the 21st Century University, the discussion ‘Investments for Development and Human Rights in Latin America’ was organized

It analyzed the role of international financial institutions, their obligation to Human Rights, their impact on the Latin American region and the performance of their accountability mechanisms. . Also, the development in Latin America and the Human Rights issues associated with it were discussed.

There were the participation of renowned exponents who addressed these issues from their work and analyzed current trends and challenges regarding investments for development in the region. Participants: Carolina Juaneda, who serves as the Latin American Consultant of the Bank Information Center (BIC), Caitlin Daniel as Senior Communities Associate of the Accountability Counsel (AC) and Juan Carballo, Executive Director of Fundeps.


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

Within the framework of the G20 summit held in Argentina in 2018, the Heads of State of Argentina and China signed 30 trade and investment agreements for the next five years. These agreements are part of the Second Five-Year Joint Action Plan between the two countries.

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 December 2, 2018, Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed thirty trade and investment agreements within the framework of the second 2019-2023 joint action plan between our country and the People’s Republic of China.

The Second Five-Year Plan, like the first, seeks to strengthen the bilateral relationship and constitutes a roadmap with actions to be carried out in a number of areas. Most of the agreements are of an economic-commercial nature and include the areas of infrastructure, investments , finance, transport, mining, energy, science and technology, tourism, South-South Cooperation and electronic commerce.

Among the agreements, one of the most important is the formalization of the exchange of currencies (swap) with the Asian country for an amount of 8,500 million dollars in addition to the existing one of 11,000 million dollars.

The agreements that were already signed at the time of the announcement of the Second Plan were the Cooperation for Integral Agricultural Development Projects in New Irrigated Areas of the National Water Plan of Argentina, the Memorandum of Understanding on environmental protection and sustainable development, and the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the University of Córdoba.

Agreements have also been signed with companies such as the “Term Sheet” between the Ministry of Finance of Argentina and the Development Bank of China (CBD) for the creation of a Fund for an estimated amount of up to USD 1,000 million, in order to finance “Working Capital”; the Framework Agreement for the Promotion of Trade in Oil Products between the Ministry of Agribusiness Government and China Grain Reserves Group Ltd. Company (SINOGRAIN).

The following agreements were signed after they were announced: the Framework Cooperation Agreement between China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) and the Bank of the Argentine Nation; the Addition to the Financing Contract for the “Rehabilitation of the Belgrano Cargas Railway”; the Financing Agreement between the Ministry of Finance of Argentina and the Development Bank of China (CBD) for the Acquisition of Rolling Stock for the Roca Eléctrico Railway and, finally, the Commercial Contract between the Ministry of Transportation and the Chinese company CRCC for the recovery of the San Martín Cargas Railway (Stage I: renewal and improvement of roads).

Finally, the following agreements are found:

  • Agreement on the Extension of the Validity of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Strategic Dialogue Mechanism for Economic Cooperation and Coordination (DECCE);
  • Agreement for the Elimination of Double Taxation with respect to Income and Property Taxes and the Prevention of Tax Evasion and Avoidance (CDI);
  • Memorandum of Understanding for Strengthening Fiscal and Financial Cooperation;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on the Promotion of Commercial and Investment Cooperation;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Cooperation in the Infrastructure Sectors;
  • SWAP expansion of currencies;
  • Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for the Export of Argentine Fresh Cherries to China;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Electronic Commerce;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Trade in Services;
  • Sanitary Protocol for the Export of Sheep and Goat Meat to China;
  • Adaptation of the Health Protocol for the Export of Standing Horses to China;
  • Convention between China and Argentina on preventing and combating the illicit traffic in cultural property, and the return of illegally transferred cultural property;
  • Execution Plan for Cultural Cooperation between China and Argentina 2019-2023;
  • Agreement on reciprocal recognition of higher education certificates;
  • Agreement between the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences of China and the Secretariat of Science and Technology and Productive Innovation on the establishment of the virtual center of social sciences China-Argentina;
  • Cooperation Framework Agreement between the National Radio, Film and Television Administration of China and the Federal Public Media System;
  • Cooperation Agreement between the Media Group of China and Radio and Television of Argentina;
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the National Supervisory Commission of China and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina;
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Modernization Government and the Chinese Academy of Government.

The interest of the Asian country to make investments in Argentina is linked to the actions that it has carried out since the last years in the Latin American region, positioning itself as one of the main investors. The First Five-Year Plan between Argentina and China meant the strengthening of ties in their bilateral relations with the aim of developing a cooperation strategy. With the Second Plan, a further step is being taken in strengthening and deepening the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

For Argentina, the agreements represent an opportunity for development in the future, however, we must be cautious about the risks and the potential negative aspects of them, which can result in excessive increases in debt, negative impacts at the socio-economic level. environmental infrastructure projects, competitiveness problems in the commercial field or even a certain tendency towards the reprimacy of the Argentine economy towards which several of the agreements point. And do not forget to add, to all this, opacity and little transparency in terms of access to information that surrounds the vast majority of these agreements, whose general aspects may come to light, but not their details and specifications As for its implementation.

More info


Sofía Brocanelli


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org



On March 15, China accepted 284 of the recommendations made in its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). These are aimed at preventing human rights violations in the field of their investments abroad. Undoubtedly, this is an unprecedented event.

“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”.

The People’s Republic of China (China) undertook, before the United Nations, to respect human rights in its investments abroad. It accepted 82% of the recommendations made by dozens of countries in its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The UPR is an evaluation conducted every four and a half years by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It allows rating the behavior of each member state when implementing the UN human rights treaties.

Here are some of the most relevant recommendations that were accepted:

  1. Promote measures that guarantee that development and infrastructure projects, within and outside of their territory, are fully compatible with human rights and respectful of the environment and the sustainability of natural resources, in accordance with national and international law applicable and with the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Ecuador);
  2. Consider the possibility of establishing a legal framework to guarantee that the activities carried out by the industries subject to their jurisdiction do not undermine human rights abroad (Peru);
  3. Adopt new measures on business and human rights in accordance with their international obligations and ensure that companies operating in high risk or conflict areas conduct due diligence on human rights in accordance with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (State of Palestine);
  4. Continue to apply Chinese laws, regulations and standards, such as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to Chinese companies that operate beyond the borders of China (Kenya);

The Chinese delegation said that its opening to host the aforementioned recommendations “fully demonstrates China’s determination and its open and active attitude towards the promotion and protection of human rights.” However, China must inform in two years in its Mid-Term Review before the UNHRC, the progress achieved after the implementation of these recommendations. In addition, you will need to develop an action plan to ensure that your companies and investors respect the rights of local communities and the environment.

María Marta Di Paola of the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation (FARN), expressed that “this commitment should not be considered a paper promise; On the contrary, social organizations around the world must take the floor to the Chinese State, keep vigilant and report to the Chinese embassies and CDHNU when there are violations in the Chinese projects, and demand redress for the violated rights of the victims and the environment “.

It should be noted that last year the Collective on Financing and Chinese Investments, Human Rights and Environment (CICDHA) presented a report in the framework of the UPR, along with 17 other Latin American NGOs, examining 18 projects with Chinese participation in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina. The report showed that Chinese companies and banks have systematically violated several rights protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other United Nations instruments.

What happened in Geneva on March 15 is an unprecedented event that must be celebrated. Likewise, it is important to remember that the results obtained must be largely attributed to the hard work done by numerous civil society organizations in the region and the world.

More information

Video: Consideration of the Universal Periodic Review outcome of China

Report: Evaluation of the Extraterritorial Obligations of the People’s Republic of China from Civil Society: Cases of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru


Melanie Mackenzie


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

Agustina Palencia, agustinapalencia@fundeps.org

On the initiative of the Peruvian organization ‘Law, Environment and Natural Resources’, on February 25, a letter was presented to the Board of Directors for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), demanding the publication of environmental information. More than 100 organizations in Latin America (including FUNDEPS), signed a letter asking the members of this initiative to make transparency in environmental information mandatory.

“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”.

The EITI standard for transparency in extractive activities, seeks to disseminate information on the oil, gas and mining industry. It requires the publication of information along the value chain of the extractive industry, from the point of extraction, to the way in which revenues continue on their way to the government; even how they benefit the general public. This includes how licenses are adjudicated and registered, who are the actual beneficiaries of those operations, what are the legal and fiscal provisions, how much is produced, how much is paid, how are those revenues distributed, and what is the contribution to the economy, including employment.

It is a multilateral initiative to which governments adhere voluntarily, and ensuring the participation of civil society and companies in the extractive sector.

However, and despite the imprint of this initiative, the standard currently lacks requirements on the obligation to publish information related to the costs and environmental impacts of extractive activity. It is necessary to have information, for example, on the amount of water that a mining project consumes, fines paid by corporations for environmental violations, information on environmental impact assessments, mitigation plans, among others. These data are crucial to avoid irreversible damage to the environment and the violation of the rights of those affected by extractive activity.

During the week of February 25, the EITI Board will meet in Kiev, Ukraine; to review the provisions of the current standard. Civil society organizations in Latin America sent a letter demanding that after the review process new guidelines be incorporated to ensure that:

  • Information is disseminated at the project level, in relation to all social and environmental assessments, showing the true impact of extractive activity on ecosystems and communities.

  • Environmental and social information about payments and expenses is disclosed, including impact studies, acquired rights, licenses, fines, compensations and remediation.
  • Information on all environmental licenses and authorizations, disaggregated by company and project, is disclosed. Including how the authorities monitor environmental commitments and information.

Argentina has officially joined EITI on February 27, 2019. To strengthen the standard with the demands made by civil society, would result in an improvement on the generation and publication of environmental information in our country.

More information

Sitio WEB de EITI

Carta enviada al Directorio de EITI

Environmental Reporting: Key to Transparency


Agustina Palencia, agustinapalencia@fundeps.org