Richard Falk urges boycott Veolia in London over illegal settlements

UN expert calls for bidding snub

A UNITED Nations expert on has called on the North Waste Authority to bar a company from bidding for public contracts over its involvement with “illegal” Israeli .

, the UN’s special rapporteur on in Palestinian territories, has written to the NLWA urging it to exclude Veolia Environment from bidding for its waste management contracts.

Veolia is one of two companies hoping to secure waste services and fuel use contracts for the NLWA, which manages waste disposal for Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.

Under current plans, the winner of the 25- to 35-year waste services contract would construct and run a major waste plant in Pinkham Way, New Southgate.

But in a letter to the NLWA Mr Falk said Veolia, which is in the running for both contracts, should be removed from the procurement process over its investment in a light rail project connecting with Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The French firm is a five per cent shareholder of the CityPass consortium, which will build and operate the Jerusalem Light Rail Transit.

The UN and the UK have condemned the settlements as illegal under and in a report to the UN last month, Mr Falk called for a boycott of companies that profit from them.

In his letter to the NLWA Mr Falk said: “It is my view that Veolia’s violations of the UN Global Compact principles and its deep and protracted complicity with grave breaches of international law make it an inappropriate partner for any public institution, especially as a provider of public services.”

Mr Falk also claimed the authority was legally entitled to exclude Veolia over its investment in the JLRT.

However, a spokesman for the NLWA said Mr Falk’s comments did not alter its position.

He said. “Our legal advice is very clear on this issue and we cannot exclude any bidder from our procurement for the reasons outlined by Mr Falk.”

A spokesman for Veolia said: “In relation to the occupied territories, there are no current plans to undertake any further activities or to service the Israeli settlements situated therein.”

Article by Daniel O’Brien | © Sabbah Report:

Source: North London Newspaper