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  UN Global Compact
Basu, Kaushik, "Compacts, Conventions, and Codes: Initiatives for Higher International Labor Standards", Cornell International Law Journal v. 34 no3 (2001) p. 487-500

The author argues that, on the whole, existing international labor standards initiatives are ill-conceived and likely to have undesirable results. This is true even though global opinion has become more sophisticated and nuanced in recent years and some of the more recent proposals, such as the UN Global Compact, are better tailored than earlier plans. For any international labor standards effort to succeed, the author contends, it is imperative to take account of the opinions of developing nations. At this stage, international labor standards are best left to individual nations, with only minimal global coordination assigned to the ILO and UN. Moreover, the author argues that the WTO, as it currently functions, is not the appropriate body for enforcing labor standards. In the long run, there must be an effort to democratize global organizations and institutions, such as the WTO. Only when that is done, or at least when the process is reasonably underway, can global organizations be seriously entrusted with the task of promoting higher international labor standards.

Subjects: Corporate Codes of Conduct, International Labour Organization (ILO), UN Global Compact, United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO)
Newsletter: Vol 2, Issue 1
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Meyer, William H. & Stefanova, Boyka, "Human Rights, The UN Global Compact, and Global Governance", Cornell International Law Journal v. 34 no3 (2001) p. 501-522

This article discusses the Global Compact (GC) in relation to similar efforts in other quarters, and then ties these various political and legal activities to larger issues raised by theories of international relations. First, the article considers whether or not the Global Compact might have any impact on the behavior of transnational corporations (TNCs) . The author argues that the GC could have a positive impact, relying on empirical studies about the relationship between TNCs and human rights. The second section addresses the question: is the Compact's voluntary regulatory approach the best or most efficient way to foster morally responsible corporate behavior? Part III looks at TNCs and labor rights through the lens of international relations theory. It asks whether there is now, or will there be in the future, a global regime for TNCs and labor rights? Alternatively, do industrial relations theories of global governance better inform our understanding of international efforts such as the GC? In the conclusion, the author looks ahead to what may come next in the areas of TNCs, labor rights, and environmental rights.

Subjects: UN Global Compact, United Nations (UN)
Newsletter: Vol 2, Issue 7
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