“Human rights treaties must take priority over commercial ones,” says UN expert

26 October 2015

In the last 25 years, international bilateral treaties and free trade agreements have harmed human rights and undermined fundamental principles of the United Nations, the sovereignty of States, democracy and the rule of law.

Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, an independent UN expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, spoke with this forcefulness and today presented his fourth report to the General Assembly, in which he calls for the abolition of the dispute resolution mechanism. Investor-State Inter-State (ISDS), which accompanies most of these agreements.

At a press conference in New York, the expert assured that these arbitration tribunals go against international law.

“Human rights must be given priority over other agreements, including commercial ones. There is an international human rights law that requires the implementation of human rights treaties in good faith, so they cannot be ignored simply by signing an inconsistent international agreement for trade and investment, ”said de Zayas.

The report calls into question the legitimacy of the courts in which the investor can sue the state, but not the other way around. He also criticizes the economic consequences of these bilateral treaties. As an example, the document mentions NAFTA, the agreement that Mexico signed with the United States.

Regarding the Transatlantic Investment Trade Treaty (TTIP), which is currently being negotiated by the European Union and the United States, the expert assured that if approved, it would aggravate the problem of renegotiating the foreign debt, financial regulation and the rights of the Indigenous villages.

26 October 2015

In the last 25 years, international bilateral treaties and free trade agreements have harmed human rights and undermined fundamental principles of the United Nations, the sovereignty of States, democracy and the rule of law.

Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, an independent UN expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, spoke with this forcefulness and today presented his fourth report to the General Assembly, in which he calls for the abolition of the dispute resolution mechanism. Investor-State Inter-State (ISDS), which accompanies most of these agreements.

At a press conference in New York, the expert assured that these arbitration tribunals go against international law.

“Human rights must be given priority over other agreements, including commercial ones. There is an international human rights law that requires the implementation of human rights treaties in good faith, so they cannot be ignored simply by signing an inconsistent international agreement for trade and investment, ”said de Zayas.

The report calls into question the legitimacy of the courts in which the investor can sue the state, but not the other way around. He also criticizes the economic consequences of these bilateral treaties. As an example, the document mentions NAFTA, the agreement that Mexico signed with the United States.

Regarding the Transatlantic Investment Trade Treaty (TTIP), which is currently being negotiated by the European Union and the United States, the expert assured that if approved, it would aggravate the problem of renegotiating the foreign debt, financial regulation and the rights of the Indigenous villages.