Selasa , 25 April 2017
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Civil society groups say No to investors suing States in RCEP

Civil society groups say No to investors suing States in RCEP

August, July 3rd 2016. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated in secret by 16 countries* and a leaked copy of its investment chapter includes proposals to allow foreign investors to sue governments at an international tribunal.

These investor suits can be for unlimited cash damages and compound interest. If the proposals are accepted, this investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) would allow foreign investors to sue RCEP governments if they regulate in ways that disadvantages the foreign investor, eg by reducing its profits, including by introducing new laws/policies or changing their laws/policies, even if it is for public interest reasons.

Past ISDS cases have successfully challenged health, environmental, tax, financial regulation and many other laws and a losing government in one case had to pay an investor as much as US$40billion. This is difficult enough for any government to afford, but RCEP includes three least developed countries: Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar who would find it particularly burdensome to pay foreign investors this much.

There are 696 known ISDS cases against 107 countries and the number filed each year has been rapidly increasing (the most ever were filed in 2015). These cases which broadly interpret investors’ rights and restrict governments’ ability to regulate have caused many developed and developing country governments to rethink their support for these investment protection provisions (including ISDS) in bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and free trade agreement (FTA) investment chapters. For example, in RCEP countries alone:

  • India and Indonesia are withdrawing from their BITs,
  • Singapore’s Attorney General and the Chief Justice of Australia’s highest court have expressed concerns about ISDS and
  • The New Zealand Chief Justice noted that human rights based determinations of domestic courts may give rise to ISDS claims.

In countries outside RCEP, there is also opposition to ISDS including:

  • Other countries such as South Africa and Ecuador are withdrawing from their BITs,
  • Germany’s Economic Minister opposes ISDS in Europe’s FTA negotiations with the USA,
  • the Dutch, French and Austrian Parliaments oppose ISDS in their FTA negotiations with Canada and the USA and
  • All US state-level parliaments oppose ISDS in any treaty.

 

Various United Nations (UN) human rights bodies have also stated their serious concerns about ISDS including 10 UN Special Rapporteurs/Independent Experts on human rights who said that the ISDS cases demonstrate ‘that the regulatory function of many States and their ability to legislate in the public interest have been put at risk’ and governments have been chilled from regulating. They recommended that in negotiations of FTAs like RCEP, the negotiating texts are published and the negotiations are conducted transparently with the participation of stakeholders including civil society.

RCEP trade ministers will meet in Laos on 5 August 2016 to try and resolve some of the issues that are stuck in the negotiations.

Given this, the 95 national and regional civil society organisations listed below which cover all RCEP countries (a number of persons requested additionally to sign on as individuals) strongly urge RCEP countries to reject ISDS in the agreement.

 *The RCEP countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand

 

Indonesian Version

Kelompok Masyarakat Sipil katakan Tidak

Pada Mekanisme Gugatan Investor Terhadap Negara (ISDS) dalam RCEP

 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), perjanjian perdagangan bebas 16 negara Asia Pasifik, sedang dinegosiasikan secara tertutup dan bocoran teks bab investasi memasukan  proposal yang mengijinkan investor asing untuk menggugat pemerintah di pengadilan internasional (Investor State Dispute Settlement-ISDS).

Para investor tersebut dapat menggugat dengan nilai yang tak terbatas dan bunga berlipat. Apabila proposal ini diterima, maka ISDS ini akan mengijinkan para investor asing untuk menggugat pemerintah negara yang terlibat RCEP apabila kebijakan mereka menimbulkan kerugian untuk investor asing, misalnya mengurangi keuntungan para investor, termasuk di dalamnya mengeluarkan undang-undang/kebijakan baru ataupun mengubah undang-undang/hukum, walaupun alasannya demi kepentingan umum.

Sejumlah kasus ISDS yang lalu telah berhasil melawan bidang kesehatan, lingkungan, pajak, peraturan keuangan dan undang-undang lainnya dan mengalahkan pemerintah dimana dalam salah satu kasus pemerintah diharuskan membayar sebanyak kurang lebih US$40 milyar kepada investor.

Terdapat 686 kasus ISDS melawan 107 negara dan angkanya terus bertambah dengan cepat setiap tahunnya (kasus paling banyak terdapat pada tahun 2015). Kasus-kasus ini yang ditafsirkan sebagai hak para investor dan pembatasan bagi pemerintah untuk mengatur menyebabkan banyak pemerintah negara maju dan negara berkembang memikirkan kembali dukungan mereka untuk ketentuan perlindungan investasi tersebut (termasuk ISDS) dalam bab investasi baik perjanjian investasi bilateral (BITS) dan perjanjian perdagangan bebas (FTA).

Sebagai contoh dalam negara-negara RCEP saja:

 

  • India dan Indonesia mencabut BITs mereka.
  • Jaksa Agung Singapura dan Ketua Mahkamah pengadilan tertinggi Australia telah menyatakan keprihatinannya pada ISDS, dan
  • Ketua Mahkamah Selandia Baru mencatat bahwa penetapan hak asasi manusia pada pengadilan negeri kemungkinan akan meningkatkan gugatan ISDS.

 

Di negara lain di luar RCEP juga terdapat perlawanan terhadap ISDS, termasuk di dalamnya:

 

  • Negara lain seperti Afrika Selatan dan Ekuador mencabut BITs mereka,
  • Menteri Keuangan Jerman menentang ISDS dalam negosiasi FTA Eropa dengan USA,
  • Parlemen Belanda, Perancis dan Austria menentang ISDS dalam negosiasi FTA mereka dengan Kanada dan USA, serta
  • Seluruh tingkatan parlemen Negara bagian US menentang ISDS di setiap perjanjian.

 

Berbagai badan HAM (PBB) juga telah menyatakan keprihatinan serius mereka mengenai ISDS termasuk 10 Pelapor Khusus PBB / Ahli Independen hak asasi manusia yang menyatakan bahwa kasus ISDS menunjukkan bahwa ‘fungsi regulasi dari banyakn egara serta kemampuan Negara dalam mengatur kepentingan umum telah terancam’ dan pemerintah gentar untuk mengatur. Mereka menyarankan agar dalam negosiasi FTA seperti RCEP, teks negosiasi harus diterbitkan dan negosiasi diselenggarakan secara transparan dengan mengikutsertakan para pihak yang terkait termasuk masyarakat sipil.

Menteri Perdagangan negara-negara peserta RCEP akan bertemu di Laos pada 5 Agustus 2016 untuk mencoba menyelesaikan beberapa isu yang menghambat di dalam negosiasi.

Mempertimbangkan hal ini, Organisasi masyarakat sipil Indonesia bersama dengan 95 organisasi masyarakat sipil tingkat nasional dan regional yang tercantum di bawah ini dari seluruh Negara peserta RCEP (termasuk sejumlah individu) mendesak dengan tegas agar negara-negara RCEP menolak ISDS dalam perjanjian.

Catatan: Negara-negara RCEP ialah Brunei, Kamboja, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Filipina, Singapura, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, China, India, Jepang, Korea dan Selandia Baru.

SIGNATORIES / PENANDATANGAN

 

  Organization Coverage
1.      GRAIN Global
2.      Third World Network Global
3.      Transnational Institute (TNI) Global
4.      World Federation of Public Health Associations Global
5.      LDC Watch

6.      Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law & Development (APWLD)

Global

Asia & Pacific

7.      Public Services International Asia & Pacific Asia & Pacific
8.      Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance Asia & Pacific
9.      The Building and Wood Workers’ International Asia-Pacific Asia & Pacific
10.  Focus on the Global South Philippines, Thailand, India, Cambodia, Laos
11.  Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Australia
12.  Australian Services Union Australia
13.  The Grail Global Justice Network Australia
14.  People’s Health Movement Australia

15.  Public Health Association of Australia

16.  New South Wales Nurses & Midwives’ Association

Australia

Australia

Australia

17.  Cambodian Grassroots Cross-sector Network Cambodia
18.  SILAKA Cambodia
19.  Social Action for Change Cambodia
20.  The Messenger Band Cambodia
21.  Women’s Network for Unity Cambodia
22.  Worker’s Information Center Cambodia
23.  All India Drug Action Network India
24.  Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) India
25.  Delhi Network of Positive People India
26.  Food Sovereignty Alliance India
27.  Forum Against FTAs India
28.  India FDI Watch India
29.  Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF India
30.  Initiative for Health & Equity in Society India
31.  International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) -South Asia India
32.  Sunray Harvesters India
33.  Thanal India
34.  The Centre for Internet and Society India
35.  Toxics Watch Alliance (TWA) India
36.  Ahimsa Society Indonesia
37.  Aliansi Masyarakat Sipil Untuk Perempuan Politik (ANSIPOL) Indonesia
38.  Aliansi Nasional Bhineka Tunggal Ika (ANBTI) Indonesia
39.  Aliansi Petani Indonesia Indonesia
40.  Bina Desa Indonesia
41.  Creata Indonesia
42.  Forhati Jatim Indonesia
43.  Himpunan Wanita Disabilitas Indonesia (HWDI) Indonesia
44.  IHCS (Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice) Indonesia
45.  Indonesia AIDS Coalition Indonesia
46.  Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ) Indonesia
47.  Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (JATAM) Indonesia
48.  Koalisi Rakyat Untuk Hak Atas Air (KRuHA) Indonesia
49.  Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria (KPA) Indonesia
50.  Maju Perempuan Indonesia (MPI) Indonesia
51.  Pengembangan Inisiatif dan Advokasi Rakyat (PIAR) NTT Indonesia
52.  Pengurus Wilayah Lembaga Kajian dan Pengembangan Sumberdaya Manusia Nahdlatul Ulama (PW LAKPESDAM NU DKI) Indonesia

Indonesia

53.  Sawit Watch Indonesia
54.  Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) (LVC Indonesia) Indonesia
55.  Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity for Human Rights) Indonesia
56.  Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI)

57.  Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network

Indonesia

Indonesia

58.  Yogya Interfaith Forum

59.  Kesatuan Nelayan Tradisional Indonesia (KNTI)

Indonesia

Indonesia

60.  Japan Family Farmers Movement Japan
61.  Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC) Japan
62.  Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT) Malaysia
63.  Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control (MCTC) Malaysia
64.  Malaysian Women’s Action for Tobacco Control & Health (MyWATCH) Malaysia
65.  Penang Research Center in Socio Economy (PReCISE) Malaysia
66.  Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower Malaysia) Malaysia
67.  Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+) Malaysia
68.  Primary Care Doctors Organisation Malaysia (PCDOM) Malaysia
69.  NGO Gender Group Myanmar
70.  Glocal Solutions Ltd New Zealand
71.  Doctors for Healthy Trade New Zealand
72.  It’s Our Future Aotearoa New Zealand New Zealand
73.  MANA Movement of the People New Zealand
74.  New Zealand Council of Trade Unions New Zealand
75.  New Zealand Public Service Association New Zealand
76.  New Zealand Tertiary Education Union New Zealand
77.  Ngai Tai Iwi Authority New Zealand
78.  Public Health Association

79.  New Zealand Public Service Association

New Zealand

New Zealand

80.  Alyansa Tigil MIna (Alliance Against Mining) Philippines
81.  GABRIELA Alliance of Filipino Women Philippines
82.  IBON Foundation Philippines
83.  Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) Philippines
84.  Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB), Inc. Philippines
85.  Association of Physicians for Humanism Republic of Korea
86.  IPLeft Republic of Korea
87.  Knowledge Commune Republic of Korea
88.  Korean Federation of Medical Groups for Health Rights, KFHR Republic of Korea
89.  Korean Pharmacists for Democratic Society, KPDS Republic of Korea
90.  Trade & Democracy Institute Republic of Korea
91.  Trade Commission of MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society Republic of Korea
92.  Assembly of the Poor Thailand
93.  Foundation for Women Thailand
94.  FTA Watch Thailand
95.  Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand Thailand
96.  Thai Poor Act Thailand
97.  Vietnam Network of People living with HIV Vietnam
 
  Individual Signatories

 

Country
1.      Andi Yuliani Paris Indonesia  
2.      Ida Fauziyah Indonesia  
3.      Irma Suryani Chaniago Indonesia  
4.      Maria Goreti Indonesia  
5.      Melani Leimena Suharli Indonesia  
6.      Sumarjati Arjoso Indonesia  
7.      Athea Sarastiani Indonesia  
8.      Chairunnisa Yusuf Indonesia  
9.      Hendrik Siregar Indonesia  
10.  Indah Suksmaningsih Indonesia  
11.  Irmawaty Habie Indonesia  
12.  Lena Maryana Mukti Indonesia  
13.  Luluk Hamidah Indonesia  
14.  Maeda Yoppy Indonesia  
15.  Maulani A Rotinsulu Indonesia  
16.  Nia Sjarifudin Indonesia  
17.  Nidalia Djohansyah Indonesia  
18.  Nihayatul Wafiroh Indonesia  
19.  Ratu Dian Hatifah Indonesia  
20.  Sarah Lery Mboeik Indonesia  
21.  Sulistyowati Irianto Indonesia  
22.  Tumbu Saraswati Indonesia  
23.  Yuda Irlang Indonesia  
24.  Gunawan Indonesia  
25.  Kartini Samon Indonesia  
26.  Lutfiyah Hanim Indonesia  
27.  Biswajit Dhar India  
28.  Gajanan Wakankar India  
29.  Vu Ngoc Binh Vietnam  

 

 

 

 

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