I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 69 together.
We partly answered this question earlier, but what I am about to read contains a slightly different answer. As the Deputy is aware, the question of a legally binding treaty to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises has been under consideration in Geneva by an open-ended intergovernmental working group for five years. For further information on the general state of play on the prospects for such an instrument, I refer the Deputy to the response I gave to Deputy Shortall a few minutes ago. As the proposed treaty covers matters for which the European Union is competent, it will be for the European Commission to negotiate on behalf of the Union and its member states. I understand the matter will be on the agenda for the incoming Commission.
I am aware that some civil society actors in Ireland have been very active in calling for Ireland to support the legally binding treaty and, in this context, have made specific recommendations for the adoption by both Ireland and the European Union of legislation on mandatory due diligence. The need for due diligence mechanisms was considered in the development of Ireland's national plan on business and human rights which was launched at the end of 2017. It identified existing provision in this area, for example, EU directives on environmental liability and non-financial reporting, and set out a number of action points to be taken forward by the business and human rights implementation group.
Further research on the matter was undertaken in the context of the baseline assessment of the current legislative and regulatory framework for business and human rights in Ireland which was commissioned by my Department on foot of a key commitment given in the plan. Both the national plan and the baseline assessment are available on my Department's website. Among the recommendations made in the baseline study, to be considered by the business and human rights implementation group, is the suggestion that consideration be given to the adoption of mandatory human rights due diligence, in line with similar legislation already made in other countries. I will await the outcome of the implementation group's deliberations on this issue before moving forward with specific policy proposals.