October 15, 2008

Promoting your proposal during the 2008 Simultaneous Policy voting round

It would be good to hear how people are encouraging friends, colleagues and members of networks etc. to support their policies in the current Simultaneous Policy voting round.

My personal proposal relates to holding corporations to account. I have written about the vote on my blog about this and posted links to that in groups on facebook etc. There are various newspaper websites and other discussion boards where I am posting information too. I’m a member of a Corporate Social Responsibility yahoo group that has nearly 500 members, most involved in organisations working on this issue. So I’ve sent the message included below.

I’d very much welcome suggestions from others about how to promote policies to increase the number of people voting and the number of Adopters.

---Message to campaign yahoo group

I would like to encourage readers of this list to consider supporting my proposal for a World Transnational Corporation Regulatory Authority, which is participating in the annual Simultaneous Policy vote. More details at:

My proposal arises from experience monitoring the baby food industry and seeing the difficulty of enforcing international marketing standards adopted by the World Health Assembly. Where national measures are not working to hold corporations to account, I believe there needs to be a safeguard at the international level. The UN Global Compact and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are failing to provide this.

I propose an authority that would investigate complaints, including those generated by public petition, and, if it finds a case to answer, would bring this before a reformed International Criminal Court or other body. I also propose that the authority would require corporations above a certain size and global reach to register as 'globally incorporated companies' whereby they would be required to submit reports, not just on financial performance, but to a specified standard against existing human rights and environmental norms. A name director would be responsible for the reports, as with financial reports and legal action could be taken over false reporting and breaches of norms. I have explored this ideas in some detail in a chapter in the book: "Global obligations for the right to food" as a member of a task force of the UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition (details with the above link).

To gain further publicity for these ideas and as a parallel route for implementation, I have submitted the proposal for inclusion in the Simultaneous Policy. This could be described as the people's plan for addressing global problems. Anyone can put forward proposals and vote by registering as a Simultaneous Policy Adopter - which is free and can be done at the time of voting. Adopters are asked to give a preference to candidates in elections who pledge to implement the Simultaneous Policy alongside other governments, or to call on their preferred candidate to make this pledge. Simultaneous implementation removes the fear of first-mover disadvantage. Politicians around the world are signing the pledge as a way to move the world from destructive competition between nations to constructive cooperation. I see action on transnational corporations as a necessary part of the package as business leaders too often play countries off against other, by threatening to disinvest if their agenda is not followed. This is not an alternative to pursuing other strategies, but a parallel strategy that allows us to develop the policies in a transparent and democratic way and to implement what is needed, not just what will be tolerated by vested interests.

There are other policies in the voting round that are worth exploring. Those gaining sufficient support proceed in the policy development process. Those with top votes, gain space in the campaign newsletter and public meetings. If you don't want to give my proposal an 'A' vote, please let me know why!

You can vote at:

For further information on the campaign, see my personal blog at:

Feel free to pass this email on to others.

Best wishes,

Mike Brady

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