We, the undersigned organizations from the Asian region, call on UN Secretary General António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein, and member States of the UN to ensure the publication and annual update of the database established under UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution 31/36.
In March 2016, the HRC adopted resolution 31/36, urging all states to ‘implement the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem’, and requesting the High Commissioner to produce a database of all business enterprises that ‘directly and indirectly enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the settlements’. Such business activities include, inter alia, the supply of equipment, services (including security and transport services), banking and financial operations, and ‘the use of natural resources, in particular water and land, for business purposes’. The activities need not necessarily be geographically connected with the settlements.
On 26 January 2018, the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) published a report (A/HRC/37/39) pursuant to this resolution, stating that the Office had conducted a preliminary screening of companies alleged to fall under the terms of the Resolution, and was in the midst of contacting companies that it believed warranted further research. The information provided by OHCHR indicates that the majority of companies OHCHR had identified were located in Israel, the United States, or European countries. Nevertheless, we note with concern that three companies from the Republic of Korea, two from Japan, and one from Singapore have been listed. A third Japanese company was excluded from further consideration at the preliminary screening stage.
None of the companies have been named, and while the report states that OHCHR ‘expects’ (page 8, para. 26) to provide the names of the relevant companies, it has been widely reported that strong pressure is being brought on the High Commissioner by some UN member States not to release company names, and even to discontinue altogether work on the database.
We therefore urge the following:
- The names of all companies identified by OHCHR, including those that have been excluded in the preliminary screening, should be published immediately.
- OHCHR should continue to work closely with civil society and human rights defenders in full transparency, to ensure completion and continuous update of the database.
- The UN Secretary General and UN member states should support fully OHCHR in the above, including through the provision of resources as necessary.
April 11, 2018
- South Korea
- Anti-Imperialism and Decolonization Studies in Seoul
- Anti-War Peace Solidarity in Korea
- asian dignity initiative
- Institute for Law and Human Rights in Society (ILHRS)
- Korea Human Rights Research Center
- Korean House for International Solidarity
- Network for Glocal Activism
- Palestine Peace and Solidarity in South Korea
- People’s Solidarity for Social Progress
- Seoul Human Rights Film Festival
- Solidarity for Another World
- Artists Against Occupation
- Association for support of Al Ahli Arab Hospital
- ATTAC Kansai
- BDS japan preparatory committee
- End the Collaboration to War! Kansai Network
- Group for Palestine Studies, Osaka
- Kansai Joint Action
- Network against Japan Arms Trade (NAJAT)
- Palestine Forum Japan
- Palestine-Sendai Solidarity Group
- Queering Futu-no-LGBT
- BDS Malaysia
- Viva Palestina Malaysia
- Palestinian Cultural Organization of Malaysia (PCOM)
- AL QUDS Foundation of Malaysia
- Muslim Professionals Forum Berhad
- Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Thailand
- Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) Movement Thailand
- Islamic Centre, Siam Technology College Thailand
- India Palestine Solidarity Forum
- All India Peace and Solidarity Organization
- Badayl, Goa
- Delhi Queerfest
- National Dalit Christian Watch- New Delhi
- Housing and Land Rights Network India
- Palestine Foundation Pakistan (with all political and religious parties including civil society attached to the Organisation)
For any inquiries, please contact Palestine Forum Japan:
takahashi.borderline[at]gmail.com (Saul Takahashi) or
yoshihiro.yakushige[at]gmail.com (Yoshihiro Yakushige)