Geneva, 16 November 2016: On the occasion of the fifth annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, a group of 9 business organizations has released a statement on National Action Plans (NAPs) on Business and Human Rights which reaffirms business support for NAPs and provides perspectives on ways forward. 

The statement is signed by: BSR; the Foreign Trade Association; the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights; the International Chamber of Commerce; the International Council for Mining and Metals; the International Organisation of Employers; the US Council for International Business; the UN Global Compact; and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

An abridged version of this statement was read at the UN Forum in a session entitled “National Action Plans to Implement the UN Guiding Principles: Stepping up Government Commitments and Action.” 

The statement incorporates four key messages:

  1. Business supports the UN Framework and Guiding Principles and wishes to see States implement the State Duty to Protect human rights; 
  2. States should see NAPs as the opportunity to exercise leadership to build genuine commitment and capacity to achieve tangible progress in standards, business behaviour and change for rights-holders;
  3. States should engage with the business community to learn from their experiences in dealing with human rights commitments;
  4. States should use the NAPs as an opportunity for collective action.

WBCSD and Human Rights

“Meeting basic needs and respecting human rights” is one of nine key priority areas within the WBCSD’s Action2020 platform. As part of efforts to contribute to achieving this priority, WBCSD remains committed, through its human rights business solution, to supporting the operationalization of the UN Guiding Principles, with the aim of considerably increasing the number of companies knowing and showing that they are respecting human rights.

Furthermore, the Council continues to emphasize that meeting the corporate responsibility to respect human rights is a key contribution to and vehicle through which business can help achieve the broader vision of peaceful and inclusive societies embraced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For more information, please contact James Gomme, Manager, Social Impact – gomme@wbcsd.org