Sydney Mushanga, from the National Assembly of Zambia, at the UN: “The voices coming from Africa should resonate as much as any other”
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Thank you very much, Honourable Chairperson.
Firstly, a big thank you to you for according me a chance to add a word to the subject currently under discussion.
My name is Mushanga Sydney, a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly of Zambia, I’m here as a Member of the Global Inter-parliamentary Network in support of the Binding Treaty.
This is my first time participating in the binding treaty and if not the first Member of Parliament participating for the first time from the Southern part of Africa.
Mr. Chairman, I have been around from that start of the 8th Session on Monday. As I watch the deliberations, Honourable Chairperson, I must state that, I have learnt a lot from you, I recognize and appreciate the incredible work you have been doing in the past 8 years. A very remarkable job to all the participants in here and all those who have participated in the last 8 years.
Honourable Chairperson, for Zambia, a strong and effective Binding Treaty is fundamental in upholding our human rights and respect for the environment.
Although companies operating in Zambia are covered by domestic legislation, the local subsidiaries of big Transnational Corporations enjoy impunity when it comes to violating human rights or destroying the environment, because of the lack of binding regulations at the international level.
Mr. Chairperson, it is therefore important to note that the current legal regime is relevant, it remains inadequate to address not only the major power imbalance between the transnational corporations and host countries but also the imbalance between the scope of obligations of transnational corporations and the gravity of the impact of their operations.
Mr. Chairperson, apart from advancing national and regional legislation, there is a need for global legislation that can hold the different entities of the transnational corporations accountable, regardless of where the violations occur and that’s the purpose why I’m participating in the 8th Session here in Geneva.
Negotiations towards the establishment of a Binding Treaty to regulate transnational corporations should be expedited and the process should be transparent to allow all States to actively participate. I invite and urge this session to hear and address the demands of all states equally. The voices, Mr. Chairperson, coming from Africa should resonate as much as any other.
Sir, the 54 states in Africa have spoken and their language and submissions are very very clear.
It is, in this front, that I invite my fellow Members of Parliament and leaders, through their parliamentary functions to take a leading role and participate in all the progressive legislations aimed at transforming our peoples’ lives.
I am in full support of the stance and position taken by the African states at this UN negotiations. I commend the governments of the African continent for standing with the people through the construction of UN binding regulations to make transnational corporations accountable.
Mr. Chairperson, as I conclude, allow me to wish everyone in this Assembly, including yourself, to wish you well as you go back to your various countries and I thank all of your for the contributions made during this Process.
God bless us all.