GENEVA, Jun 1 (KUNA) -- A long anticipated set of guidelines on business
and human rights has been presented on Wednsday by the UN Secretary-General's
Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie, during the
current session of the Human Rights Council.
"The Principles seek to provide for the first time a global standard for
preventing and addressing the risk of adverse human rights impacts linked to
business activity, by outlining what States and business enterprises should do
in practice," said Ruggie, who is a Professor on Human Rights and
International Affairs at Harvard University.
The document is the product of a 6-year long and inclusive process that,
according to the Special Representative, "will help ensuring a socially
sustainable globalization, which will have impact far beyond the UN system,
shaping the practices of governments, companies, civil society groups, and
investors around the world."
The Guiding Principles are based on 47 consultations and site visits in
more than 20 countries; an online consultation that attracted thousands of
visitors from 120 countries; and thousands of pages of research and
submissions from experts around the world.
"The Principles will enable the global community to move beyond the
confusion and polarization of the past by establishing an authoritative point
of reference that recognizes the central role that States need to play," said
"They also give businesses predictability in what is expected of them, and
provide other stakeholders, including civil society and investors, the tools
to measure progress where it matters most - in the daily lives of people."
The Guiding Principles outline how States and businesses should implement
the UN "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework in order to better manage
business and human rights challenges.
That framework, which the Special Representative proposed in 2008, was
unanimously welcomed by the Human Rights Council at the time, and has since
enjoyed extensive uptake by international and national governmental
organizations, businesses, NGOs and other parties.
Under the 'State Duty to Protect,' governments get guidance on how to take
more proactive ownership of their human rights responsibilities and provide
stability, clarity, and consistency to citizens and businesses.
The 'Corporate Responsibility to Respect' principles provide a blueprint
for companies on how to know and show that they are respecting human rights.
And the 'Access to Remedy' principles are about assurance, making sure that
States and companies are held accountable.
"To be sure, Human Rights Council endorsement of the Guiding Principles
will not solve all of the world's problems. But it will put an authoritative
stamp on what has already become a global normative standard," underscored UN
Special Representative Ruggie. (end)
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