Today, World Environment Day, and two weeks before a major United Nations (UN) Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Friends of the Earth International started a campaign urging the UN to limit the excessive influence of multinational corporations on its decision-making processes.
Today Friends of The Earth International launched an online public petition asking UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take the steps needed to reclaim the UN from corporate capture. Already more than 335 civil society organisations representing millions of people from around the world already signed a joint statement initiated by Friends of the Earth International and nine other organisations, denouncing the corporate domination of the United Nations.
Signatories are requesting a clear public response from the UN that its priority is to serve the public interest and not business interests, and that the UN will take concrete steps to limit business and industry's influence in UN decision-making processes.
"We have clear and troubling examples of how major corporations and business lobby groups exercise an increasing and unacceptable level of influence on UN decision-making processes," said Paul de Clerck, corporates campaign coordinator at Friends of the Earth International.
"We are demanding a formal response from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and from the UN member states, we want them to curb the business lobby at the UN, to halt UN-business partnerships, starting with companies involved in human rights violations, and to introduce global rules to hold companies accountable for their negative impacts," he added.
"The people are reclaiming the UN from the influence of big business and calling on governments to restate that their over-riding prerogative is to serve the public interest. Friends of the Earth International will participate in the alternative Peoples Summit in Rio to underscore that the system needs to change in order to solve the current crisis," said Lucia Ortiz, economic justice international program coordinator for Friends of the Earth International, in Brazil.