Got this email today from a dear friend, colleague and comrade-in-arms against the multinationals. Collectively- we should all be very proud of the work we are doing here in Hawaii and know that it has international impacts.
Dear Fern, dear Malia, dear Gary,
I want to thank you for your part in our historical success this weekend. This weekend the Swiss voted on the human rights responsibilities of Swiss multinational companies abroad. A popular initiative put forward by more than 100 NGOs and supported by trade unions and churches asked Multinational companies headquartered in Switzerland to cling to human rights and environmental standards also abroad. Victims of human rights violations by companies owned or controlled by Nestlé, Syngenta etc should have the right to ask for damage before Swiss courts. With 50,7 % against 49,3% the Swiss voted in favour of this initiative. In Basel we got 62% of the votes, in Vevey – the headquarters of Nestlé, 73%, and in Geneva 75%! This is the biggest success ever in our fight against the power of the multinational companies.
Unfortunately, the proposition didn’t get the majority of the often very small Swiss states. It won’t get into law, therefore. But the 50,7 YES-votes have changed the game for Swiss multinationals. Your Swiss journey and the famous appearance before the Syngenta shareholder five years ago was an important step to this success! Beside Glencore and Nestlé, Syngenta was the most criticised multinational. I am so proud to tell you that the Swiss voters clearly are not behind Syngentas doings!
You are so great, and I love you all!
Ueli Gähler, Multiwatch Basel
Click on the YouTube Link to watch the 4 minute video of remarks I delivered at the annual Syngenta Shareholders meeting in Basel, Switzerland – referred to above by Ueli.