Statement: UN Database on Businesses Operating in Israeli Settlements Should be Published

Palestine Forum Japan

Japanese / Korean
(April 11, 2018)

Statement: UN Database on Businesses Operating in Israeli Settlements Should be Published

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:

April 11, 2018

Japan
South Korea
Malaysia
Thailand
India
Pakistan

For any inquiries, please contact Palestine Forum Japan:
takahashi.borderline[at]gmail.com (Saul Takahashi) or
yoshihiro.yakushige[at]gmail.com (Yoshihiro Yakushige)

Palestine Forum Japan